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Revenge killings and the drug trade: This Cape Town suburb was hit by 38 deaths in seven months

Police at a crime scene in Grassy Park.

Police at a crime scene in Grassy Park.

Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais

An international research team estimates that almost 40 people were killed in just seven months in one Cape Town area.

Research by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime found that 38 people were killed between 24 October 2021 and 17 May 2022, mostly related to gang violence, in the suburb of Grassy Park.

A senior analyst, Julia Stanyard, said the elevated gang violence was, in part, due to retribution killings among “warring gangs”, who “jostle for control of territory for local drug sales, often assassinating rivals in drive-by shootings”.

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