Gangsterism isn't necessarily a crime problem - criminologist

News broke on Friday that suspected gangland kingpin, Ralph Stanfield had been shot while driving in Johannesburg.

According to top cops like Jeremy Vearey, Stanfield represents one of the Cape’s biggest problems: as far as organised crime is concerned.

Stanfield is accused of running an underworld operation that saw him arrested in 2014. Stanfield, his wife Nicole, his sister Francesca, and three police; Lieutenant Billy April, police clerks Priscilla Mangayne and Mary-Gail Cartwright - were acquitted of a string of charges relating to fraud, corruption, possession of unlicensed firearms and contravention of the Firearms Act.

Stanfield is the nephew of deceased gang leader Colin Stanfield.

We've seen quite a few shootings of top level gangsters in the last few weeks relating to the larger takeover of the clubs and club security industry in Cape Town.

Dr. Simon Howell, senior researcher at the Centre of Criminology in the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town

It is surprising that he was shot in Johannesburg but equally not so surprising considering the reach across the country.

Dr. Simon Howell, senior researcher at the Centre of Criminology in the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town

Howell says it is difficult to tell at this stage, who might have been behind the hit on Stanfield. He explains that it is rather difficult to build and pursue cases against high profile, powerful and rich gangsters because they tend to be well connected.

Howell goes on to say that police are doing their best but are often men with barriers beyond their means.

Police are under resourced adds Howell.

Gangsterism isn't necessarily a crime problem. Gangs exist because of the extreme socio-economic issues.

Dr. Simon Howell, senior researcher at the Centre of Criminology in the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town

Listen to the analysis in the clip below:


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