Police investigate spate of shootings

Mitchell’s Plain police are investigating several drive-by shootings in the area.

Gunshots have been ringing in Tafelsig as community workers report several shooting incidents in recent days.

Three people were injured in separate shooting incidents, within minutes of each other, early yesterday, Tuesday December 7.

Captain Ian Williams, spokesperson for Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, said they were investigating eight cases of attempted murder as well as a murder. He said some of the shootings were gang-related.

Five people were injured, including two 13-year-olds and three in their 20s, during a drive-by shooting in Plattekloof Street at 12.50am on Sunday December 5.

At 3.55am on Tuesday, a man, 44, was shot in Real Madrid Street, Freedom Park in Tafelsig. Five minutes later, a 21-year-old man was shot in Huguenot Avenue and another man shot in Jonkershoek Street at 4.30am.

In the first shooting yesterday, the man was at home when he heard someone banging on the door.

Captain Williams, said the man heard gunshots being fired through the door. He was injured in both legs.

A man, 18, was taken in for questioning in connection with this shooting.

At 4am, police received a complaint of a shooting in Huguenot Avenue in Tafelsig. Upon arrival, they saw a stationary white Opel Astra with registration CA 109036 with the right back window broken.

Inside was the injured 21-year-old man. He was taken to Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital.

The Jonkershoek Street victim was allegedly approached by four men, who shot at him.

Mitchell’s Plain police station commander, Brigadier Cass Goolam, said they have been engaging the community, via the sector commander, the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) sub-forum and the Mitchell’s Plain Neighbourhood Watch Association and affiliates, on violence in the area, including stone throwing, robberies and shootings.

“We have been operational with regular patrols and arrests,” he said.

Brigadier Goolam said matters escalated at the weekend.

Captain Williams said they would engage with the community on reporting any suspicious activities and to have them join safety structures to root out crime in the area.

The Plattekloof Street victims were at a matric ball after party, standing in the street, where they were busy gambling and smoking, when a white car came driving down the road, and an occupant opened fire.

“Everyone ran in different directions. The car with the suspects drove away. The shooters are unknown,” said Captain Williams.

One of the victims was a gang member.

A victim was taken to Groote Schuur Hospital, another to Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital and the other three were taken to Mitchell’s Plain community health centre, better known as the day hospital.

No arrests were made.

A man, 38, was found dead in a toilet in a house in Gideonskop Street, Tafelsig, on Sunday December 5 at 5.50am.

According to witnesses they were woken up by a noise by the front door.

The alleged gunmen kicked the door open and upon entry started shooting.

One of the occupants ran into a room and the other to the toilet.

The man found dead in the toilet, was shot in the neck and chest.

Captain Williams said seven cartridges were found on the scene.

“The motive for the attack is gang-related,” he said.

Police are investigating a case of murder.

Charmaine Marhota, a member of the Tafelsig West Neighbourhood Watch, based at the one-stop-crime-shop at the Mandela Family and Youth Centre in Kilimanjaro Street, said SAPS does not want to work with them.

“We do not know who the sector commander is and we don’t see CPF or neighbourhood watch patrols,” she said.

Ms Marhota alleged that before the recent local government elections Tafelsig councillor Washiela Harris had closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras removed.

“These were manned, watched by volunteers who would contact the relevant authorities,” she said.

She said quite a few robberies and murders were captured on these cameras.

“The community is living in fear. By watching this footage we could identify suspects and perpetrators,” she said.

“We sacrifice our lives and we do what is necessary to keep our community safe,” she said.

Brigadier Goolam said he was rather surprised that Ms Marhota did not know the sector commander and that there were minutes of meetings, from sector commander, Captain Brian Jacobs, recording her attendance and contributions.

He said the removal of the CCTV cameras were not in Ms Harris’s jurisdiction and he had requested an audit on the cameras.

Mitchell’s Plain CPF chairman Norman Jantjes said they are very concerned about the ongoing gang violence in the area.

“We are especially saddened by the shootings over the past weekend, when three teenagers were shot and wounded in Tafelsig. Fortunately they survived the ordeal,” he said.

Mr Jantjes said it is the CPF leadership’s mission to build unity within the safety and security sector.

“To this end we’ve established a working relationship with the City of Cape Town and the Department of Community Safety.

“There’s still much more to be done in this regard.

“We’re also working closely with SAPS, right from the station commissioner to the sector commanders,” he said

The City has furthermore agreed to only provide training, deployment and resources to accredited neighbourhood watch members as this was a major source of conflict in the area.

“We’ve furthermore presented numerous capacity building workshops for the nine sub-forums and neighbourhood watch leadership, so that they can become more effective and efficient when it comes to crime prevention, detection, reporting as well as improving the relationship with SAPS and other services,” he said.

Mr Jantjes said there have been many attempts to get people to work with the recognised safety structures in their area.

“We thus urge the community to consider working with the recognised safety structures as we can only increase safety if we all join hands.

“We need to put our differences aside in the interest of the community, especially in Tafelsig, which is a high-risk area for gang violence,” said Mr Jantjes.

Aspire Community Development, a registered non-profit organisation, in partnership with Mitchell’s Plain CPF and Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association will have a walk in remembrance of the young lives lost in the community as a result of violence on Saturday December 11, starting at Cedar High School in Rocklands at 10am.

• A man, 45, was stabbed in his neck in Bergwater Street, Rocklands, at 3am on Saturday December 4.

The man and a friend had been drinking and were walking across the field, when they approached and were assaulted by a group of men.

He collapsed while trying to run away. Police are investigating case of murder.

A follow-up investigation led to the arrest of two men, aged 20 and 21. The suspects face a charge of murder. They were due in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Tuesday December 7.

• Anyone with information about Sunday’s shootings must call investigating officer, Detective-Sergeant Morgan de Bruin, of Mitchell’s Plain SAPS’ Serious and Violent Crimes Unit on 079 894 1511.

If you have information about yesterday’s shootings that will help police in their investigation, call investigating officer, Detective-Sergeant Uzair Woodington, from Mitchell’s Plain SAPS’ Serious and Violent Crimes Unit on 079 894 1511.