Cape Town - Angry Tafelsig residents in Mitchells Plain say they are fed up with the drug trade and gang rivalry that has plagued their suburb for more than a decade.
They met on Sunday to discuss ways to eradicate crime in their neighbourhood.
The meeting followed the death of Tafelsig teenager Annestley Hartnick, 16, who was shot multiple times in front of his family’s home on Saturday night.
Under a heavy police presence and facilitated by People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad), the meeting was attended by about 200 residents. It took place at the Freedom Park Community Hall.
Pagad co-ordinator and Tafelsig resident Mogamat Keraan said the community was tired of being held hostage by gangsterism. He listed five of the residents’ biggest concerns, which included gangsters walking around with firearms in broad daylight and children as young as five being used to rob people at gunpoint.
According to Keraan, there was not enough of a police presence in the area.
Another Tafelsig resident, Adnaan Solomons, agreed, saying: “We will inform the police of the known drug houses and tell them if they don’t do anything we will shut them down ourselves.”
If police did not step up efforts to end crime in the area, he said, residents would take the law into their own hands.
The community will meet again on Thursday.
Annestley’s sister, Nikita de Vries, said although he was not a member of a gang, his friendship with members of rival gangs made him a target.
“He had many friends who were gangsters. When he became friends with the sister of the Fancy Boys, the Spoilt Brats thought he would share their secrets.
“He had been a target for a long time,” said De Vries.
Her brother had received threatening messages from gangsters for weeks preceding his death, she said, which had kept him out of school.
On Saturday night, Annestley went to the shop. When he returned, he saw three members of the Spoilt Brats threatening his father at gunpoint, she said.
“Annestley went up to the guys and asked them what they wanted. When he turned his back, they shot him. Five times. I heard the gun go off five times. He died in front of me and I asked them to end my life as well,” an emotional De Vries recalled.
Family and friends gathered at Annestley’s home on Sunday to mourn his death.
He was one of two people shot dead at the weekend.
Police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said a man was shot and killed and another was wounded in a shooting in 35th Avenue, Elsies River, on Sunday.
One of the victims was taken to hospital, and the other died at the scene.
The circumstances surrounding the incident were “not known at this moment”, he said.
No arrests had been made.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crimeline on 32211.