Youth Day took a bloody turn in Lentegeur when gunmen shot dead three people, including two teenagers, and wounded two other teens.
The shooters entered the Poppy Street house at 6.50pm on the public holiday and fired multiple shots in what is believed to have been a gang-related shooting, said provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa.
The shooting claimed the lives of a 14-year-old, a 16-old and a 46-year old. A 15-year-old was shot in the left arm and an 18-year-old was shot in the back.
Police have arrested two men, aged 20 and 26, in connection with the shooting.
According to the latest quarterly crime statistics, for January to March of this year, Mitchell’s Plain police precinct was in 26th place for murder and fourth place in South Africa for contact-related crimes, despite them having dropped by 45 cases from 284 cases.
Lentegeur Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairman Byron De Villiers said Lentegeur is a hot spot for murder and contact crimes.
Ward 76 councillor Avron Plaatjies said: “I’m deeply saddened by the fatal shooting on Youth Day. I strongly condemn the spike in gang violence in Lentegeur. I urge SAPS and all law enforcement agencies to speedily bring the perpetrators to book, increase their visibility, and speedily conclude their investigation in this matter.”
Mr De Villiers said crime statistics did not give an accurate picture because a lot of crime went unreported
“Load shedding is one of things affecting patrols as most of the shootings in our precinct happen during that time. As the CPF, we’re trying to close the gap between the community and SAPS. We’re working hard to get the proper service for our communities. However, the community has a responsibility to report crime,” said Mr De Villiers.
Mitchell’s Plain CPF chairman Norman Jantjes said crimes relating to drugs, theft, and shootings were concerning.
“All of our areas are impacted by drug use. Many of our gang wars and gangs govern the drug market system, which leads to many killings and shootings. We used to have so-called quiet areas, but shootings, drugs… it impacts more areas in Mitchell’s Plain than before.”
The hot spots for these crimes are Beacon Valley, Eastridge and Tafelsig, said Mr Jantjes.
“There is also a correlation between load shedding and cable theft. One can easily steal cables when they know there’s no power,” he said.
The relationship between SAPS and the community needed to improve, he said. “Sometimes there is a language barrier, lack of feedback from detectives and long waiting periods of service with police and at police stations in Mitchell’s Plain,” he said.
For more information on Mitchell’s Plain CPF related matters, contact deputy chairperson of Mitchell’s Plain CPF, Veranique Williams, on 083 718 8851, or Strandfontein CPF secretary, Fatima meyer on 0731845665 or 071 947 8294.
Police are urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.