Two double murders in two weeks

Yusaf Saboodien and Nazeema Lewis, both 35, (inset) were shot last week in Imperial Road, Beacon Valley.

The seven-year-old Eastridge girl, who was orphaned and wounded in a drive-by shooting, is still asking for her “mommy and daddy”.

Yusaf Saboodien, and Na-
zeema Lewis, both 35, died in a hail of bullets in Imperial Road on Wednesday November 1, at 8.30pm.

It was the second double killing in Beacon Valley in just two weeks. Police say it was gang-related and the killers are still at large.

Police found the couple’s black Nissan bakkie riddled with bullet holes. Inside was Aisha Lewis with a gunshot wound to her right arm. Her parents had both been shot in the head and chest.

Mitchell’s Plain police spokesman Captain Ian Williams said Aisha was taken to hospital for medical treatment. Mr Saboodien’s mother, Faldielah Saboodien, said Aisha had been sitting with her parents when the killers opened fire.

“Aisha was traumatised, and kept shouting and crying for her parents. This was obviously shocking for her, but she has the support of family. The little girl is currently in hospital recovering and is still asking for her mommy and daddy,” she said.

“It is a very sad time for us: we lost family, and now Aisha too will have to grow up without her parents,” said Ms Saboodien.

She said her son had been a gangster but he had also had good qualities.

“He will be missed – his smile and wonderful personality. He was still my boy, my naughty boy and didn’t have to die this way, and hurting those he loved.”

Ms Saboodien’s sister, Faranaaz, will miss her brother’s sense of humour and his teasing.

“No matter what he was, he was my brother, and his family loved him,” she said, wiping away tears.

“He was a caring brother and enjoyed teasing his younger sister, and that’s me. All I have now is good memories and pictures to remember him.”

Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital spokesman Dwayne Evans said Aisha was in a stable condition.

On Tuesday October 24, Arenzo Meyer, 27, and Bevan Piercen, 30, were shot several times in AZ Berman Drive, Beacon Valley.

Mr Meyer, who was driving a silver grey Mazda 323, was shot nine times in the chest, and Mr Piercen, was shot seven times – four times in the chest and once in the stomach, left hand and the head.

That shooting, according to police, was also gang-related. Police retrieved 14 cartridges from the scene. No arrests have been
made.

Mitchell’s Plain United Re-
sidents’ Association (MURA) chairman, Norman Jantjes, said they were very worried about the high levels of gang violence in Mitchell’s
Plain.

He said there had been more than 90 murders and almost 200 attempted murders in the area since January.

“Most of these incidents are gang conflicts and drug-related. Gang violence has become the norm in our community and affects all of us, especially the youth and children,” he said.

Government – both provincial and national – needed, he said, to take the lead in a four-pronged assault on gang violence, focusing on law enforcement, gang intervention, prevention and community mobilisation:

A law enforcement task team – including police, the National Prosecuting Authority, Metro police and neighbourhood watches – should target high flyers and build a constant presence in the area, while neighbourhood watch members should be trained and deployed to high-risk pockets.

The provincial departments of Community Safety and Social Development, working with the City of Cape Town, should use skills-training, drug awareness and drug treatment programmes to stream high-risk youth between the ages of 14 and 25 into the job market or further schooling and away from gangs.

All children in Mitchell’s Plain were “at risk” and even those at lower risk needed exposure to social-crime-prevention initiatives led by government and the NGO sector to build positive socialisation.

The community could not afford to tolerate gangsterism and drug abuse and should mobilise against them by joining neighbourhood watches and block committees and by holding the government accountable.

“We must have marches, church services and promote positive role models. SAPS should do their work,” said Mr Jantjes, adding that the community needed to put pressure on SAPS and the NPA to establish a gang task force.

“Put pressure on the province to reintroduce the School Safety Programme and to fund community crime-prevention programmes,” he said.

The Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum said it could not comment on gang violence in the area or the recent murders.

Puzzlingly, although it is a police oversight body, the forum’s chairman Abie Isaacs said: “We do not have a mandate from the police to comment on crime in Mitchell’s Plain.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Crime Stop Line at 08600 10111.