CAPE TOWN– A Cape Town prosecutor has called for a 12-year jail sentence for a 14-year-old gangster who shot dead a rival gangster and has “no respect for the law”.
The juvenile, who was only 13 at the time of the shooting on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape, appeared in the Parow Regional Court on Friday before Magistrate Constance Nziweni.
He is to be sentenced on Monday for murder, four counts of attempted murder, and unlawful possession of a semi-automatic firearm.
Prosecutor Daniel Cloete told the court that the juvenile, who may not be named, left school at the age of 13 and immediately joined a gang.
This particular gang had been involved in shootings on the Cape Flats for a year before the juvenile was arrested
“He shot dead his first [victim] and only a few days later he was involved in shooting wildly at a block of flats where members of an opposing gang had their hideout,” the prosecutor told the court. “This shows how recklessly they behave and how the gangs terrorised their communities.”
Cloete said the juvenile was still young but lived a lifestyle that was not becoming of a young person. He reminded the court of a news report on Friday about a woman who had been hit by a stray bullet while in her home on the Cape Flats. “This happens every day and we cannot treat this juvenile like a baby.”
He said the accused needed to be jailed in the juvenile section at Pollsmoor Prison and not sent to a youth centre instead due to his age. “If the accused is sent to a youth centre others in the centre for petty thieving would be exposed to him. The accused needs to go to a youth prison meant for people convicted of serious crime.”
He suggested an effective sentence of 12 years and added: “It is quite a lengthy term for a youngster like the accused, but the court needs to take into account that these youngsters are without fear or respect for the law. They think they can act with impunity due to their age and that they will get away with light sentences,” Cloete said.