Tuesday, May 18, 2010

gangsterism in pollsmoor and the coloured community

We watched a video in Poverty & Development class today on gangs in Pollsmoor Prison and Cape Town. The notorious gangs of Pollsmoor are the numbers gangs: 26, 27, and 28. The narrator of the documentary, Ross Kemp, interviewed John Mongrel, the leader of the 28s in Pollsmoor. The documentary was made in 2006, and apparently John Mongrel has since been killed. Speculation rumors the murder was connected with his participation in this documentary. He told the interviewer how he takes a new prisoner every now and then to be his "woman." He makes the man sleep by his bed, wash his clothes. He has sex with the man. Mongrel said this does not make him gay. He is not gay; he is a man, and the man he has sex with is his woman, reports Mongrel. What happens if the man does not want to wash his clothes, sleep by his bed, and have sex with him? He is killed.

Many of the prisoners interviewed reported that their original crime sentences were maybe 6 years, 9 years... a relatively short time. But, these sentences had been extended to 15, 20, 25 years or more, due to the prisoners' participation in gang-related crimes. One man reported that he stabbed a warden multiple times, with intent to kill, because the order was given by the high-ranking officers of the gang he wanted to join.

Originally, these numbers gangs were unaffiliated with outside gangs. This is no longer the case, and certain gangs are connected to the 26s, 27s, and 28s. This affiliation promotes drug trade across the walls of prison and into the community. From my work at Bonnytoun, I know that one of the most notorious gangs, the Americans, are affiliated with the 26s.

The Western Cape has the largest Coloured population of any province in South Africa... It is no coincidence that it also has the highest incidence of gangsterism and gang-related crime. "Coloured" and "gang" tend to be closely associated. In addition to the often impoverished condition of the Coloured population in South Africa, and their constant lower-class status, both during Apartheid regime and today... Drug use (tik, dagga, and mandrax are some of the most common) is also most prevalent among the Coloured community. The white community tends to use cocaine, and the Black community generally sticks to alcohol abuse. The presence of highly trafficked drugs and the fiscal rewards involved in the drug trade lend the Coloured community easily to gangsterism.

I have found myself more and more interested in the unique and troubling condition of the Coloured community in South Africa, and in the rule and presence of gangsterism. I am troubled to think of my class at Bonnytoun, and their constant scribbling of gang affiliations and symbols. I hate to think that it is a real possibility that they too will end up in Pollsmoor one day.

I did not go into great depth on the gangs in Pollsmoor and Cape Town area, but the presence of gangsterism is apparent everywhere. The Wikipedia article on the numbers gangs goes into great detail about the origin, set-up, and inter-workings of these three gangs.

65 comments:

  1. Some people seem to have a clear identity or one they can live with from birth. It may be positive; it my be negative or in between. Others seem to have a clear identity that they can't live with (that kills them inside), and they fight to reject that and thus gain an identity in rebellion. But, others seem to be the worst off of all: living life in a vacuum of meaning with no identity, with nothing that feels real inside. The existentialist writers of the past couple of centuries started talking about this third type of existence, and actually seemed to think it was the primary type of existence of "modern/post-modern" life. Though this general interpretation of modern life doesn't explain the situation of those who are "Coloured" in South Africa, it may suggest that what is so compelling about the situation of the "Coloured" population in South Africa, is that essentially their "lostness" and "lack of identity" is something all of us bear deep down and struggle with more or less successfully.

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    1. Your an idiot, identity my ass you need to go back to your little clean neighbourhood before we come looking for you

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    2. Jesus, your opinion is clearly that of an observationalist. Coloured people (not "coloured people" by the way) are not some neo-race that only exsists in South Africa. South Africans just had the sense to give this growing race a title. Them killing eachother in senseless gang rivalry has absolutely nothing to do with their race. They are a people with a culture and heritage all of their own. They are not some sick decrepid souls wondering arounds in the shadows of South Africa

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    3. What an idiotic observation. It is so stupid to make those kind of observations and comments, without really knowing what you are talking about. "Coloured" people do have identity and heritage. I wonder what your opinion is about the crimes that are commited by "blacks" or by "whites". Racist fuck.

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    4. I kindof get what you're trying to say. Let me elaborate.

      These black people nowdays. The mordern black male in most Western societies, do have an extensive identity crisis. They're not alone. A lot of indigenous people who have lost their culture, their history, their lands, to the oppressive nature of the European, have been left lost.

      Every "modernized" westerner is lost. But the native people show it the hardest! White people have this superficial system ingrained in their lives now. Indigenous folk still struggle to accept it.

      That's why you see blacks in Western countries worshipping rappers, gold jewellery, BMWs and money. Because they have no culture, they identify with what it on tv. Tv is often the only reference for the poor people.

      Look at Lebonese and Arab people who have migrated to Western countries. The teens and adults blame the Westerners for their hometown warzones. So often they hold it against Western citizens. That's where the racism, the gang rapes, gang assaults and murders come into play. Their lack of identity in the Western country has given them reason to identify in the war culture of their home country.

      It's the nature of the system. Take away a man's culture and he is lost forever.

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  2. u must stole that from Ross Kemp's Gangs and everything you watched is from Ross Kemp's Gangs. Plus, John Mongrel is still alive killing more and more people in Pollsmoor and the junior ranks are afraid of him.

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    1. Yes John Mongrel is still very much alive but has been released from prison in 2013 due to the fact that he is infecting too many junior prisoners with AIDS, how true that statement is I don't know.
      However John Mongrel is living in Kalkfontein which is in Kuilsriver and works as a cleaner twice a week in a barbershop that I attend.

      I guess racism will never die, but in every nation you get the good and the bad...

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    2. He was released way before 2013. It is believed it was between '06-'09. John Mongrel was released probably because he had enough with gang life and wants rehabilitation. Nearly every prisoner who served time in Pollsmoor including Magadien has HIV but it will mess up your immune system and make you sick more often. John was also a former member of the Mongrels and it was a good decision to move out of the Flats. TB is also a problem in Pollsmoor. Great to see John out of gang life and telling people dreadful stories about Pollsmoor during the apartheid era. I think John has been working at the barber since he has been out of jail and gangs. He survived Pollsmoor and has many close calls.

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    3. What year John got sent to Pollsmoor at age 14?

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  3. Plus, his juniors ranks were in the documentary too and were not allowed to speak without John Mongrel's permission.

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  4. no if you read on wiki it says john mongrel was released in 2004 or 2006 something like that or the other

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  5. I think John Mongrel never been out of Pollsmoor since he was incarcerated 33 years ago. He did a lot of crimes inside and killed a lot of people inside. That was Bobby Mongrel that was released and shot. Bobby was killed in a gang assassination in his living room in April of 2000 in Grassy Park. John was a member of the Mongrels Gang. Mogamat Benjamin was released, returned to Pollsmoor and was killed for breaking the Number. Wikipedia does not say that John Mongrel was released in '04 or '06 because he was still in prison during that time. He's never been out of prison since he was 14.

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  6. I've heard that John was killed by a 26 which is an Americans gang member on the day he got out of solitary for breaking the code. He told Ross about the secrets and the gang law said you cannot reveal any of their secrets to non gang members. John was a member of the Mongrels Gang and the death rumor won't be official until the warders told anybody that this man is dead. I've heard that gangsters in the Cape Flats were killed in fights triggered by this. I believed John's death had something to do with the interview. He don't deserve to live and he was a disgrace to the Number along with Mogamat, who was killed for leaving the gang.

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    1. mogamat isnt dead,where you heard dai kak?

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    2. um just checking, there are guys after him coz he left the #? Do you know Magadien Wentzel? Glad he changed after he did 25 years in and out of prison. Mogamat was targeted to be taken out back in '01 along with Errefan Jacobs and other guys coz they participated in Joanna Thomas's program. Was it was a American gangster that killed little John in prison over drugs. I'm from the USA and heard tons of shit about the Flats and Pollsmoor especially little John. Glad he is taken out and I know his body is buried to hell. He don't deserved to live.

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  7. The death of John Mongrel is still a rumor

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  8. Great news, John Mongrel is out of prison and he's now lives in Kulis River, Cape Town. He's truly a reformed man just like Mogamat Benjamin and Errefan Jacobs. Don't believe in death rumors about this man, the rumors are just some made up bullcrap. He is a changed man and no one fears him where he's lives. This is not a joke, it is true. John Mongrel is not dead, he was out of prison some years ago. He took that rehabilitation class in Pollsmoor. That was Bobby Mongrel who was released and shot and killed, John is doing fine and he is a changed man.

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  9. Incorrect, John Mongrel was not killed in prison, he died of AIDS. Too much assfucking I guess and every one in Cape Town knows that.

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  10. Why do you guys even speak of this man. In this lifetime and if you are a parent or even a individual who thrives on better lifestyles and a firm believer to incorrect bahaviours of our youth then you would not be placing such a man of any value. Whether the man is dead or alive, reformed or not, another dies and another three of the same kind is born. The sad part is that you and I are caught up in a sick patterned world, one which we have no power but one that we can definately change and the change start with us. Lets not entertain any of it...

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  11. John Mongrel (real name Johannes Frederick Mangral) is still locked up in Pollsmoor still alive. He is not dead. A warder who works in Pollsmoor confirms that John is still locked up. There nothing wrong wit the interview coz it is all wrong.

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  12. John is dead he was killed in prison by a 26,nothing to do with the interview it was a personal matter,i was in pollsmoor for 8 years and i knew him

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    1. what years did you served in Pollsmoor and it must be coming from a warder or a inmate? Where did you get this info from and make sure you call Pollsmoor and they have John's records and they will confirmed you on this man status. What you said is not true. He was released from prison as a reformed man and got sent back in 2011.

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    2. when this was bra, do you know u are going to get killed for saying this because this is very personal information about John. I heard people got killed for saying John is dead.

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    3. I heard that the 26s don't kill people bra, they rob people and they white angels. I got this from a person who commented on John Mongrel's interview. Most Americans and Mongrels join the 6s. What you went to Pollsmoor for?

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    4. I use to stay in hanover park,i got sent to pollsmoore in 1999 for robbery with the americans,26s do kill when a 28 or 27 break n law,john was the most powerfull 28 but something to do with michael booysen (from sexy boys ek dink),Americans are mostly aligned with the 26s)A Drug deal went sour somwer n john was dood geskiet

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    5. Fuck bra, when he died. John is a MG (Mongrels Gang)and I heard the Mongrels were used to be ran by Bobby Mongrel until he got shot dead by PAGAD back in '98 the same week Jackie Lonte got shot. I heard John is from Mitchell's Plain and he did bad shit on the streets back in the day with his brothers who also members of the Mongrels. Where the drug deal was? inside or outside of prison.

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    6. bra, they don't use guns in prison, they used shanks. You should've said stabbed and do you know where Booysen at now as of 2012. How old was lil John when he died and what year? '06 or after the interview. I also heard he raped a dude named Rucian and gave him HIV.

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    7. You have to call Pollsmoor and make sure Mongrel is dead bra unless you seen the body. I heard a Hard Living member from Mitchell's Plain said he died of AIDS and everyone in Cape Town heard about that.

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    8. Booysen is serving a life sentence for murder I heard and it was in prison. John fucked up a drug deal you said and got murked like a bitch. He had 56 murder cases while John had around like 10 murder cases and 22 rape cases when he was young. What kind of cell that he and Ross Kemp was in during the interview? I heard John cut out a warder's eye out and killed a lot of people inside before he died in 2006.

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    9. Since you did time wit him, I heard his breath smelled like a road kill being left on the sun and he scared the shit out of Ross Kemp, that white British guy we watch of the legendary interview. Was you were in prison when lil John Mongrel from Mitchell's Plain died?

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  13. no, a person who knows a warder stated that John is still alive as of 2012. A 28 cannot put a hand on the 26s, so as the 6s cant put a hand on the 28s. That is another John or another Mongrel member that have the first name John that was killed in prison. The Mangral one that spoke to Kemp is still alive. A person did 3 years with him said he isn't dead. He was stabbed by John and 3 other guys that tried to stab him for him. John was trying to kill him. People could be killed in the streets for stating this rumor of John being dead. John is still locked up in Pollsmoor and just got back in Pollsmoor. He was living in Kuilsriver when he got out and got sent back again.

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  14. Call Pollsmoor and they will tell you that John Mongrel who spoke to Kemp is still alive locked up in Pollsmoor. They will give you his real name.

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  15. The 26s, 27s, and 28s do not have the right to kill each other unless a 8s touches a 6s or a 6s touches a 8s. John is wrong. A person from Kuilsriver knows John and seen him almost every week before he got sent back to prison for parole violation. A warder who works in Pollsmoor stated that John is still alive as of 2012. He is not dead. If a 26s member kills or touches a 28s member, he will get punished.

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  16. Mongrel is dead bra, AIDS or killed by a 26s probably an American gang member over street shit. That 26s probably got killed for messing with John coz you cannot harm a number

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  17. all of you should not talk about prisoners as if they effin gods, all 28, 26, 27 should be killed KLA

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  18. Is John Mongrel an authority even outside the prison in the street?

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    1. no he is not, He is a MG (Mongrels Gang) outside of prison and he do what the gang leader tells him.

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  19. Why is everyone making such a fuss about this john mongrel

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    1. coz they don't like the man. John don't like when they talk about this shit. You could get killed for saying this shit out in the Cape Flats. He isn't dead, he is alive and well. He is out of jail and a changed man living in Kuilsriver. no lie. John still love his weed though. People from there see him nearly everyday and he is actually short in stature. There are a lot of Mongrels members that goes under the name John Mongrel on the streets. The ex-American who gave the info out to us about him being dead probably got killed for saying this out coz it is very personal information.

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  20. He is a asshole!!1! An evil fucker,who deserves to die!! There is only one God,and thats Jesus Christ. People carry on like this John is a God...makes me sick...

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    1. lol. if Jesus is God then who looked after the world while Jesus was apparently dead in his tomb???

      This has nothing to do with JM, who gives a fuck about that cunt

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  21. Well to a lot people he is a living legend, guess a lot of you will never understand what it takes to ensure you leave prison in one piece......

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  22. this oke is seriously evil
    i hope he is dead or repenting

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  23. is everyone going to argue about some gangster or actually comment on this stupid post about some group of people with a certain culture, heritage and/or belief system portrayed (by an ill informed, narrow minded, ignorant, arrogant dumb american) to be who all Coloured people are?

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  24. i would like to know if Erefaan Jacobs is still on the straight path?

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  25. You friggin idiots. John Mongrel is not dead. He is now out of prison as a changed man and on the right path. He currently resides in Kuilsriver living peaceful. He had enough with gang life and being in Pollsmoor for 3 decades in and out. Some people in KR know him personally. John MG is telling people to stay out of trouble everyday. That was another Mongrels member that was killed in that drug deal. John didn't had anything to do with it.

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  26. He is scum. If anyone looks up to that cum burping whore they deserve to get raped by him. Id like to be in a room with him myself- he would not make it out alive.

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  27. Hell! Nobody will fuck me in the ass!!! end up in jail its your own fucken problem.You ask for it.Fuck john mongrel gay shit and focus on your stupid brains.leave this skollie"shit now!

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  28. Its like once you get fuck in jail.You will always go back for more.

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  29. Is John Mongreal
    really dead I hear alot of stories.

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    1. Yes, he passed away of natural causes last year in his Kuils River home. His real name is John Smith. It is official.

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  30. Yah he died of aids.Fuck and rape men without a condom"Thats the punishment! !!!

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    1. No, he just collapsed and passed away last year in Kuilsriver. He wanted to survive prison which he did and die peacefully. He hadn't reached the AIDS stage yet when he was positive for HIV.

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  31. How to get in touch with him if he is still alive

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    1. Some of his family members are still around living in Kuilsriver. John's real name is John Smith. He passed away a year ago of natural causes in his Kuilsriver home.

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  32. john mongroll was killed in 2014 when he left prison,was shot in the street by one of his "wyfies"one of the franse he use as a woman,

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    1. John passed away of complications of AIDS in Kuilsriver. His family buried him in a Sarepta church.

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  33. wonder what world you f@#@#@# live in

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  34. I want to know if John Mongrel was actually the highest ranking 28 or if he was the highest ranking General from the Bloodline,because usually there is a Lord then the first General so then who is the Lord of the 28's?plus if you take guys like Mogamat Benjamin and George"Gewild"Thomas,who was actually the highest ranking 28 if they all have been in prison for most of their lives.The media also confuses things sometimes hey eish...

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    1. John was one of the Generals during his final years in Pollsmoor before his release.

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  35. I know this because I'm from Namibia and we too have the number gang but it only exists in prisons......luckily lol

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  36. I know this because I'm from Namibia and we too have the number gang but it only exists in prisons......luckily lol

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  37. I want to know if John Mongrel was actually the highest ranking 28 or if he was the highest ranking General from the Bloodline,because usually there is a Lord then the first General so then who is the Lord of the 28's?plus if you take guys like Mogamat Benjamin and George"Gewild"Thomas,who was actually the highest ranking 28 if they all have been in prison for most of their lives.The media also confuses things sometimes hey eish...

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