Ten people were killed in Mitchell’s Plain in the past week, including a high school pupil who had been shot by police during an Operation Thunder operation.
Police have confirmed that most of the shooting incidents were gang-related.
Operation Thunder is a national intervention aimed at rooting out gang violence and other serious crimes on the Cape Flats.
An inquest has been opened into the death of 19-year-old Mogammad Faseegh Carelse, a pupil at Oval North High School in Beacon Valley who was allegedly killed by police in Aintree Street, Beacon Valley, on Monday July 16, between noon and 1pm.
“This matter is currently being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and therefore we are not in a position to comment any further,” said Sergeant Jerome Voegt, spokesperson for Mitchell’s Plain police station.
Earlier on Monday, at 10.45am, Mogammad Faseegh’s friend, Lesley Ovis, 22, was shot and killed at Eastridge clinic. Lesley was at the clinic with his one-year-old daughter when a gunman opened fire on him.
Both young men killed on Monday were fathers and both lived in Buick Crescent, Beacon Valley.
Major General Johan Brand, Khayelitsha cluster commander who has an oversight role on the Mitchell’s Plain SAPS cluster, said a man, 20, was arrested on Monday evening in connection with the shooting at the clinic and is due in Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Thursday July 19.
Major General Brand said most of the shooting incidents were gang-related. He said the shootings, particularly in Beacon Valley, related to incidents of (gang) retaliation.
He said Mogammad Faseegh was among a group who had opened fire on members of the police’s Operation Thunder. “The suspect was killed with a firearm in his hand,” he said.
The fatal spate of killings started on Tuesday evening July 10 when a 17-year-old, was shot in his upper body at the corner of Alpine and Olympic streets, Beacon Valley. This was followed on Wednesday night July 11, by the shooting of a 20-year-old in Linaria Street, Lentegeur. On Thursday July 12, three men between the ages of 21 and 43 were shot at the corners of Eisleben and Morgenster roads, Lentegeur. On Friday morning July 13, a 28-year-old man was shot in his abdomen in Epsom Street, Beacon Valley. He later died in hospital. On Saturday July 14, a 23-year-old man was shot in Stromboli Street, Tafelsig. On the same day, another 23-year-old man was shot in Vesuvius Street, Tafelsig. He died of his injuries in hospital.
A bystander to the shooting in Aintree Street on Monday, who did not want to be named, said: “Bullets came flying from over a house close to the sand dunes. The children in the street were still playing in the road when they (the police) started shooting into Aintree Street.
“An open police van came speeding from around the corner. They (the police) opened fire while the children were playing in the road. We opened our doors to our children as they were not safe. One of the children ran into a neighbour’s house and was shot. We are very upset with the police. This is not serve and protect, this is serve to kill.”
MogammadFaseegh’s mother, Shanaaz Carelse, said: “He was a good son, and a loving person. He was in Grade 11 at Oval North High School and was going to finish school to look for a proper job when he finished. He had a good education.
“He loved his son of 18 months dearly and was a good father. I don’t know what his intention was to be there (in Aintree Street) but it was his time.”
Another resident from Lentegeur, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s not safe to stand at your own gate anymore, you don’t know when it (shootings) will happen. They are depriving us from our freedom, because we now need to be in our houses early and keep our children from playing in the park, which is a normal thing to do as children. I just wish this can stop.”
Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF), said: “As the CPF, we condemn the acts of violence, and we request the community to come forward to SAPS to apprehend suspects. We are calling on a multi-faceted approach, the community need to assist law enforcement, SAPS and the CPF to stop crime. We deem this as a genocide in Mitchell’s Plain. We want the community to ‘piemp’ , if you know the people carrying out these acts of violence.
“Beacon Valley is currently the red zone for crime. We would like to connect at the CPF sub-forum meeting for the community to raise their concerns and come with solutions. The people at the day hospital, on Monday did not expect that shooting to happen, it was uncalled for. How did they get into the hospital, armed, if security were present, we need to question this. The community must stop protecting gangsters.”
Major General Brand said it is time the community start being honest with the police.
“Some of them are aware of what is going on and I want to thank those community members who are working with us,” he said.
Major General Brand said the biggest problem the police is facing is the broken family structure. “What is happening in these families? Once that is answered we need to work on different kinds of actions to address gangsterism and drugs; and that there should be more community initiatives, and then the community can only rely on SAPS for hard-core policing,” he said.
Major General Brand appealed to the community to work with the police “because the hidden guns are being used to kill their neighbours”.
He also urged the community to join crime-fighting structures in their neighbourhoods.