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Four murdered since pastor was gunned down

Cape Town - Four people have been killed and two wounded since Albern Martins, a gangster-turned-pastor who went on to become a peace negotiator between rival gangs, was gunned down on March 1.

Police declined to comment on whether any of the shootings were linked to Martins’s murder, but Tuesday’s a number of sources, who out of fear asked not to be identified, said they believed the shootings were connected.

Martins, 55, was shot dead outside Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court as he was walking to the court building to appear on charges of racketeering, drug dealing, perlemoen possession and fraud.

A week ago, five days after Martins was killed, Donovan Booysen and Morne Francis were fatally wounded in Sarepta, Kuils River.

Two sources said Francis had been a member of the Sexy Boys gang. Another said Martins had worked with a prominent gang leader whose members had started operating in the Belhar area - a Sexy Boys stronghold.

These rival gang members, who had “held back” while Martins was alive, had after his killing increasingly started fighting against the Sexy Boys, and the sources believed Francis and Booysen were victims of this.

After Booysen and Francis were killed, three people were gunned down in Mitchells Plain on three consecutive days.

A source said it was feared these were retaliation shootings in the wake of the Booysen and Francis killings.

Yesterday, Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) chairman Abie Isaacs said the latest shooting happened in Rocklands on Monday.

According to police spokesman Andre Traut, 22-year-old Ashwin van Aarde was killed in the shooting on the corner of Sunderland and Condor streets, while a 23-year-old man was shot and wounded.

“The motive for the incident is unknown, and the circumstances of the matter are under investigation,” Traut said.

On Sunday evening, a 30-year-old man was shot several times in the lower body in Tafelsig, and on Saturday, a 19-year-old was shot three times in Tafelsig and died.

No arrests were made.

On Tuesday, asked whether he believed any of the recent shootings were linked to Martins’s murder, Ivan Waldeck, who had worked with him for nearly two decades, said: “At the moment I cannot say yes or no.

“We do not want anyone, through this killing of Martins, to die,” he said.

Steenberg CPF spokesman Kevin Southgate said Martins’s murder had showed that gangsters were not sincere when entering into peace treaties.

He said Martins’s history had to be considered when looking at his murder.

“Although Pastor Martins was doing fantastic work among the gangs, one cannot categorically say all was forgotten,” Southgate said.

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