Unique glimpse into Cape Town’s shadow world

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Congratulations to Caryn Dolley on The Enforcers. It feels like a uniquely authentic, detailed and subtle insight into Cape Town’s shadow world. Very brave too. What comes across most strongly is on how many levels the various battles for power and wealth are being fought and how fluid it all is. The interplay between gangsters and corrupt cops and politicians; between apartheid-era and democratic era saboteurs; between good cops, justice officials and bad ones.

The war is fought not only with guns, knives and money but also with sophisticated fake news campaigns aimed at muddying the narrative and discrediting the good guys. She points out that, despite the fact that thousands of lives are being lost as a result and entire communities living under siege, there has never been a proper commission of enquiry into the causes, nor a coherent strategy for dealing with it. There is a lack of political will, partly due to the struggle between the DA and the ANC for control of the Western Cape. Meanwhile, the shadow world thrives and expands. Worth a read. It is the detail she managed to gather, under difficult and dangerous circumstances, that I found the most impressive.

It all adds up to a chilling tale.

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