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Two gangsters who opened fire on three young children who did not want to be recruited as gangsters, killing one and severely wounding the other two, were jailed for life on Thursday.

Zandre Manuel, 25, and Irvin Lee, 27, appeared in the Goodwood Regional Court, before magistrate Constance Nziweni, who found them guilty of premeditated murder and two counts of attempted murder.

On the attempted murder charges, they were each jailed for an additional five years.

The incident happened in Ravensmead on the Cape Flats, when the three boys, chatting at a residence, were approached by Manuel and Lee who wanted to recruit them as members of a gang known as The Firm.

 The boys declined, and one of them, Shaun Nassan, 12, was shot dead instantly.
Because the two who survived the incident are juveniles, they may not be identified.

The defence said their ages alone justified a less severe sentence, but the magistrate ruled that the court could not deviate for “flimsy” reasons.

She said the courts had a duty to eradicate the scourge of gangsterism as best it could, and that she would be shirking her duty if she imposed a less severe sentence.

A less severe sentence would not only be totally inappropriate, but would also send out the wrong message to the communities, the Judge lamented.

Such a sentence would also serve as encouragement for would-be offenders, and cause innocent law-abiding people, plagued by the scourge of gangsterism, to take the law into their own hands, she said.

She shuddered at the very thought of this happening, she added.