Ex-gangsters take fight against violence into their own hands

(first published 3 December 2014)

The Veteran

At first glance, it’s only the faded tint of tattoos peering out from underneath his sleeves that hints at a background far from his otherwise inconspicuous appearance. A composed 61-year-old, Nealon is a veteran amongst his colleagues and the oldest member of the Cape Flats’ infamous Mongrels gang. Cape Town’s Cape Flats suburbs have been the scenery of gang wars and deadly rivalries for decades. On average, someone still dies from gang violence every five days.

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Ex-gangbangers aim to halt Cape Town violence

(first published 3 December 2013)

In one of the most crime-ridden areas in South Africa, former gang members are helping to curb gang violence.

Cape Town, South Africa - In recent months, gang violence has found its way to the centre of attention in the Western Cape. With on-going gang wars in different areas around Cape Town, communities are fighting back through reinegration programmes. 

The First Community Resource Centre in Hanover Park is a non-profit organisation founded by Pastor Craven Engel. When the cleric was positioned in the notoriously crime-ridden area, he swiftly realised that the main problem of his community was the gang violence. People in the community don't always trust the police to protect them against the gang activity and often remain quiet when they see crimes being committed.

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China's one-child policy conundrum

(first published 15 November 2012)

Amid a soaring population of elderly Chinese, new leadership in Beijing is expected to review the decades-old policy.

Beijing, China - China's fast-ageing population threatens a demographic disaster with too few young people to care for the elderly - a major problem that may lead to a review of the country's contentious one-child policy.  

One-third of Chinese will be 60 or older by 2053, according to estimates by the National Committee on Ageing. There will be more than 200 million senior citizens in the country by the end of 2013. While the one-child policy has been recognised for limiting China's population to 1.3 billion people, its demographic ramifications are now becoming clear. Many researchers are of the opinion that the policy has profoundly aggravated China's ageing crisis.

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