The Cape Flats has been the scene of many bullets and much bloodshed from 13 October, with many Capetonians in the region fearing that they may be caught in the crossfire of rival gangs or just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
After a devastating weekend, the murder of a 5-year-old boy was reported in Hanover Park yesterday. Police in the area say the boy sustained a gunshot wound to his chest, later succumbing to the injury in hospital.
While police investigate the circumstances of this incident, investigations into the motive behind the murder of woman in Bonteheuwel is also ongoing – the young woman was gunned down on Friday. Graham Lindhorst, of the Bishop Lavis Community Policing Forum (CPF), says the best way to combat ongoing shootings and crime of this nature is for residents to stop hiding the criminals.
“Stop harbouring these criminals and even harbouring their guns. Let us know if there is something happening next door, that is unbecoming, so we can stop this trend of crime within our communities.”
ALSO READ: Bonteheuwel woman gunned down
Police say it increased its visibility in Lavender Hill over the weekend, following sporadic shooting incidents there. And while they continue monitoring the area, the Steenberg CPF’s Gavin Walbrugh echoes Lindhorst sentiment, adding that communities need to stick together to get criminals off the streets.
“The sooner we can get these people arrested and off the streets, the better it is for the whole community. We want the community to come forward with information, so we can rid the area of these gunmen. [The shooting] is ongoing, and it’s so difficult to even police.”
Then to Manenberg, where police are probing four cases of murder and two cases of attempted murder – the CPF’s Vanessa Adriaanse says six people were killed and many others injured in gang-related shootings there.
Adriaanse says the heart of the community is bleeding and that residents feel like they’re being held hostage.
“We have pleaded to all levels of government and to these gangsters even, to say please can we cease this war? Please, can we stop this killing? Because our innocent people is also being hurt, while this gang war is continuing.”
The weekend ended on the same sombre note that it started, but in Nyanga, where three men were gunned down on Sunday. The motive suspected to be linked to alleged extortion, but that is still under investigation.
“We are very shocked with what has happened, because it happened in the middle of the road where people are passing by. We just hope that the law enforcement agencies will do their own investigations and will give us more [clarity on] what really happened.” – Dumisani Qwebe, Nyanga CPF.
The bloodshed of the past few days follows shortly after Police Minister, Bheki Cele, visted Cape Town on Friday. He launched the Safer Festive Season Operations in the Western Cape, announcing that increased policing resources will be provided to “intensify” law enforcement efforts.
The hope is that these intensified operations will actually bring peace to these communities.