Joe Slovo in Langa. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Joe Slovo in Langa. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Concern over Langa becoming Cape Town’s next bloodbath hot spot

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Apr 13, 2021

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Cape Town - Activists, criminologists and residents from Langa are worried about crime trends, saying it might soon become a hot spot like Nyanga if the police, province and City do not implement policing strategies.

This after six people died in four separate shootings in Langa over the weekend. Community activist Alfred Magwaca said they were concerned about the recent incidents, which suggested that Langa was slowly becoming one of the worst places for crime.

Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said the police were investigating all the murders.

The first incident occurred at a shebeen on Friday, where a person was shot and killed. In the second, at a Spaza shop on Saturday, another person was shot and killed.

The third incidents happened on Sunday, when two Fidelity Services guards were shot and killed in Zone 23 while escorting an Albany Bakeries vehicle. Soon after that incident, a suspect was arrested following the death of two people who were shot and killed in Zone 17.

According to Traut, the suspect was due to appear in court this morning.

ANC provincial spokesperson for community safety, Mesuli Kama, said that over the past few years they had witnessed a worrying trend of areas like Langa, Delft and Mfuleni becoming crime hot spots.

Kama said Langa was worst affected by hijacking and the robbing of e-hailing transport services a few years ago, and that the reports of six people shot dead over the weekend were really sad, but were not surprising.

He said what was more concerning was the robbing of security companies, as that included stealing firearms that would be used to commit violent crimes in the area.

Guy Lamb, a criminologist at Stellenbosch University's political science department, said Langa had been stable when it came to crime, compared with other townships.

Lamb said that comparing crime statistics in October to December last year, murder had gone up from 13 to 17.

He said there had been an increase in attempted murders – eight in 2019 to 16 in 2020 – with common robberies also increasing.

Langa Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Sindile Moya said the forum had visited the police station yesterday, to enquire about community policing and the strategies implemented to help curb the violence.

Moya said the station commander told them that they were considering beefing up their staff, especially where the majority of incidents occurred.

He said they were worried about crime trends, and encouraged the community to work with the police.

Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith said the City had invested in CCTV infrastructure in Langa and surrounding areas over the years, in a bid to aid crime-fighting efforts.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said he had been following the escalation of crime and violence in Langa, and called on the police to develop an appropriate policing plan for the community.

Cape Argus

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