‘When I saw my son, I was grateful that he was alive’

Rocklands mother Joanne Muller fears for the safety of her son every time he leaves the house.

At 16, she says, he is at the age that many young boys are recruited into gangs – and in May, he and his friends were victims of a shooting in Coral Street.

Ms Muller’s son and his friends had been in the bush in Coral Street when three men started shooting at him and his friends.

Her son was shot twice in the buttocks and his friends were also injured.

“I was not at the scene, so I am unsure as to what they were doing in the bush. Apparently they were smoking. Well, that’s what I heard,” Ms Muller told the Plainsman.

“My son then made his way home with the injuries (and) we contacted the ambulance, but they took too long to arrive so we took him to the hospital ourselves. “When I saw my son, I was grateful that he was alive.

“My son is not a gangster but he was a victim. Every time he walks out of the door I worry. I am so sure other mothers feel the same way about their sons, due to gangsterism in our communities,” she said.

Ms Muller said many residents live in fear as they constantly hear gun shots almost every night.

Also in May, she said, she witnessed a man being shot near Park Avenue in Rocklands.

“It was like a scene in a movie, but it was real. I was coming from work, walking (and) minding my own business. Three guys were walking, looked normal… within seconds they took out a gun and shot a man dead.

“It was unbelievable, I couldn’t believe that I saw it live.

“This is what residents have to battle with every day. They have to be exposed to criminal behaviour. Something needs to be done regarding gang violence in the area,” she said.

Asked about gang violence and the incident involving Ms Muller’s son, Mitchell’s Plain station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam said: “We are aware of the gang violence in Rocklands, and are deploying members to the area.

“However, I am going to stress that the police cannot fight gang violence alone. Without information and details, we cannot do our job. My advice to residents is to mobilise, take action, you have the police to support you in a practical way.

“This could be by opposing bail and not allowing criminals back in the community,” he said.