Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

'I Don't Want to Die'

Fast Guns

The Fast Guns is a gang located in Johannesburg, a city at the other end of the country from Cape Town. However, one of the dominant gangs of the Cape Flatsthe windy, sandy, level stretch of earth to the west of Cape Towncalls themselves the Americans, and they purportedly have connections with the Fast Guns. In fact, the Fast Guns are believed to have carried out hits for the Americans in the past, as a way of confusing local police.

According to experts, this is what the Fast Guns dothey are killers for hire. The commander of the Johannesburg Crime Intelligence Unit, Superintendent Joe Nomdoe, stated in an article in the January 21, 2003, edition of the Cape Times that the Fast Guns was created from seven existing gangs more than 15 years previously. In particular, they are involved in drugs, vehicle theft and hijacking (the latter being especially prevalent in present-day South Africa), and murder. The leaders are aged 30 and above, while the gang members are teenagers and even younger.

Hence, the theory evolved that someone, possibly a Capetonian gang, hired the Fast Guns to massacre the owner and anyone else present at Sizzlers as payback or to send some kind of message. A drug connection remained a strong possibility, or perhaps a business deal gone sour.

An ex-member of the Fast Guns, however, rejected this notion, based on the skin color of the suspects. According to him, the suspects being white made it highly unlikely that they had any connections to his former gang. In an interview in the Cape Times of January 23, 2003, he said that the Fast Guns didnt even like whites.

Triangle Project logo
Triangle Project logo

Meanwhile, the Triangle Project, which is a gay and lesbian organization, had made counseling services available to people touched by the massacre, in particular family and friends of the victims, while others were calling for prostitution to be legalized. Among the latter were Sheryl Ozinsky, in charge of tourism in Cape Town, and Sweat (the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce). Althea Mcquene, coordinator of Sweat, put the problem quite succinctly, in a January 20, 2003, article on Independent On-Line: The present law that criminalises sex work forces the sex industry to operate underground with no protection or regulation. This situation opens up the industry to criminal activity and sex workers are particularly vulnerable to criminal-related activities and violence.

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