Since the last issue, gang violence in the Western Cape has continued unabated, fuelled by continuing gang fragmentation. Between October 2023 and the end of February 2024, our monitoring team profiled hundreds of incidents of gang violence and tracked multiple court cases, which are unpacked here to provide a picture of emerging trends in gang dynamics and state responses.

In this issue, we focus on three key dynamics that stand out:

  • The aggressive territorial push of the Fancy Boys and its implications
  • The prosecution of alleged gang boss Ralph Stanfield, which may prove to be a promising step in a sustained and consistent strategy against organized crime figures in South Africa.
  • The theft of firearms from Western Cape police stations and the collapse of high-profile firearms theft cases involving police and gangsters.

This series of bulletins will continue to track developments in Western Cape gang dynamics each quarter to provide a concise synthesis of relevant trends to inform policymakers and civil society. The monitor draws on information provided by field researchers working in gang-affected communities of the Western Cape. This includes interviews with current and former gang members, civil society and members of the criminal justice system.