Gang warfare on the Cape Flats- the Really Ugly Americans linking up with the Ugly Americans


Ben Fine’s article in the Aug-Sept 2011 issue of The Shopsteward reveals that in 2007 alone 20% of GDP was smuggled out of South Africa by Anglo American and other monopolies, through ‘transfer pricing’. This practice has been going on since the days of apartheid and continues every year. Here are the funds not only for full employment, but a decent life for all. There is such abundant wealth that the economic basis for gangsterism would immediately be removed. Yet in many working class townships gangsterism abounds.


The police know where all the druglords are, but yet most of them are allowed to operate unhindered. Now the City of Cape Town has brought in the FBI (the really ugly Americans) to work hand in hand with gangs like the Ugly Americans, the Junky Funky’s, etc. Instead of locking up and rooting out the gangs, the FBI has implemented a system of ‘dialogue’ with the gang leaders. Here we have a networking of US imperialism directly with the local gangs. In the 1960’s and 70’s the US state systematically saturated the ghettoes with drugs to break the resistance that had been led by the Black Panther movement. A drugged youth would not lead any resistance. Now on the Cape Flats the ‘expertise’ of the FBI is being used to ensure the widespread dissemination of drugs and a support network for the local gangs.


From a world perspective, the masses are on the march; world capitalism is fighting for their life; they know that a powerkeg exists across the country- any issue might spark an uprising similar to the 1980’s. Thus imperialism uses various tactics to put worker against worker, to destabilise and terrorise the masses. On the Cape Flats, this means the spread of drugs and the increase of gangster attacks on the masses. The execution of Anti-Eviction campaign activist (also a neighbourhood watch member), Soraya Nordien, in the last week of June in a so-called attempted ‘robbery’, where nothing was stolen, shows a level of organization that is generally absent from the local gangs.  7 days before she was killed, Soraya had a gun pointed at her head by Junky Funky gang members. The police did nothing about this. The police openly collaborate with gang members.


Now the gangs have attacked Somali and other immigrant spaza shops. Who benefits? In this capitalist world, where the food gangsters (Woolworths, Spar, Shoprite and Pick ‘n Pay) collaborate to keep food prices very high, a small niche has been found by the Somali and other traders who operate on high volume and small mark up. The destruction of these small shops directly benefit the food gangsters as people are forced to shop there. The attacks on small immigrant-owned shops have now spread to Mitchell’s Plain and some other areas which shows that these attacks are being orchestrated on a level much higher than localised gangs. That the DA calls for the army to be brought in to quell gang violence, only hides the complicity of the DA in the systematic violence on the masses. That the Minister of Police, Mthethwa, refuses the deployment of the army and he insists that the police handle gang violence, the same police who are alliance partners with the local gangsters, shows that the ANC is also complicit in keeping the masses destabilised.


As with the rest of the working class, the masses on the Cape Flats have a rich history of combat against the gangster capitalist state and the local gangsters. It is time to take up the path of mass resistance once again.

What is required is the setting up of armed self defence committees by the community in all working class areas. But to root out the big time gangsters, Anglo American and others, we need to mobilise the entire working class to overthrow the capitalist system. Expropriate the big time gangsters, Anglo American and all monopoly capitalists, without compensation, placing these assets under workers control. To fight for workers power , we need a revolutionary working class party, nationally and internationally.

We call for mass march on parliament to demand an end to gangsterism, the arrest of all druglords and the nationalization of the mines.

To definitively end all gangsterism, forward to Socialism!  12.7.2012

Workers International Vanguard Party ph 0822020617