Four in custody over slaying of baby, mother

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Johannesburg - Police have arrested four men in connection with the murder of a mother and her 16-month-old daughter in Everest, Springs, on December 1.

Three were arrested on Tuesday, said Springs police spokesman Captain Johannes Ramphora.

The fourth had already been arrested and is due to appear in the Springs Magistrate’s Court for an urgent bail application on Wednesday.

The family thought initially that the attack on Vigist Chufamjo and her daughter Happy was deliberate, as foreigners had been targeted in Ekurhuleni townships over the past few months.

The two had been living in Duduza with their family before they were displaced and moved to Dunnottar.

In one of the incidents, 200 foreign-owned shops were looted and 800 foreigners displaced after a businessman shot and injured a teenager in August.

In October, the Johannesburg High Court ordered the Ekurhuleni municipality to address the plight of the victims – Somali, Bangladeshi and Ethiopian communities in Duduza and the surrounding townships.

They had been attacked between August and October.

When Chufamjo was shot, she and her baby had accompanied her husband, Wangore Kebede, to Everest, an informal settlement in Springs, to collect a shipping container from which he operated his shop. Shots were fired at Kebede but he managed to get away.

Chufamjo and Happy were gunned down while waiting for Kebede in a bakkie. The two died on the way to the hospital.

The family sent the bodies to Ethiopia for burial.

Ramphora said: “Three other suspects were arrested in Johannesburg on Tuesday and will appear in court with the first suspect on January 23.”

Six people were seriously injured in another incident on New Year’s Eve in Munsieville, Krugersdorp.

A six-year-old child was among them.

A teenager had entered a Somali shop with a knife and tried to steal some bread.

A shopowner shot the teenager and he collapsed near a tree on the edge of a road.

Munsieville residents, many of them teenage boys, raided the shop, but met resistance from the Somalis, who shot at their attackers, witnesses said.

A rioting crowd had formed outside the shop, determined to loot it and burn it to the ground.

The police arrested five people. Four could not be linked to the crime and were later released.

“The one arrested man will appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court (on day) for a bail hearing,” said Krugersdorp police spokeswoman Constable Tshepiso Mashale.

mpiletso.motumi@inl.co.za

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