Before the pandemic, South Africa had some of the highest violent crime rates on the continent. But now, new circumstances have created changes.
The government has imposed some of the toughest quarantine rules in the world, including banning alcohol and cigarette sales. The economy has taken a beating – and the gang members were feeling the effects as much as anybody else.
Preston Jacobs, a member of the “Americans” gang, told the BBC it feels nice to be doing something positive for the community.
“Now I see there are nice people also, and people want to love what we’re doing now.”
Sansi Hassan of the “Clever Kids” gang expressed hope that the truce would become permanent, saying:
“If it can stay like this, then there will be no gang fight”, he said.
“And every gang will agree with us.”
Andie Steele-Smith, a pastor who works with gang members in the community – a former banker who moved from Sydney to South Africa to become a pastor five years ago – expressed pride in what these young men are doing.
“I’m proud of you guys. Literally, if I died today and went to heaven I would die a happy man.”
Source: Good News Network