Murder of Boko Haram leader could spark succession race, says gang expert

South Africa

Johannesburg – A gang expert is warning that the murder of the alleged kingpin of the notorious Boko Haram criminal group will likely lead to a succession race within the criminal organisation.

Mamelodi residents said they were relieved to learn that Philip Mnguni was killed this week in a dramatic shooting near the Diamond Hill Plaza.

He was the leader of the Boko Haram gang, which is believed to be running an extortion syndicate in Mamelodi.

A task team was deployed in Mamelodi following several murders of people linked to the Boko Haram gang by someone that the community has dubbed “John Wick”.

But criminologist Simon Howell said that deployment of police was not enough.

“People seem to think that by virtue of deploying more and more police to an area you somehow eradicate a gang. But to doesn’t work like that because the police are not dealing with the drivers of gangsterism, they’re merely dealing with the effects. Dealing with the drivers of gangsterism in this instance would be something along the lines of giving young people alternatives to being in a gang.”

He added that this may not be the end of gang violence in Mamelodi.

“Internal succession would essentially be within the gang and with the leader dead, it would be a contest of various forms to see who would be the leader unless there was someone who was already positioned to take over,” said Howell.

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