Cape Town - Police have arrested four suspects in connection with the death of a Heideveld high school learner, Muaarth Lee, who was shot and killed on Sunday.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said: “Manenberg police have taken in four people aged 17, 21, 26 and 41 years old for questioning. The suspects’ arrests come after the discovery of the victim’s body on Sunday, at 8.20pm.
“The victim, aged 15, had been shot and fatally wounded in the parking area of Linda Court, Heideveld. The possibility that this incident could be gang-related is being investigated,” Van Wyk said.
Frustrated by the ongoing gang violence, Heideveld Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) members and the Community Development Forum say residents are living in fear of the violent wars that have claimed the lives of Lee and 17-year-old Imtiaaz Solomon in one school term.
Heideveld Development Forum spokesperson Vanessa Adriaanse said the Cathkin High School community was mourning the deaths of three young learners, two of whom had violently lost their lives.
“The first learner, unfortunately, committed suicide, while Solomon was stabbed to death and Lee shot and killed on Sunday.”
In an effort to unite the community amid rising tensions, the Development Forum organised a call for a prayer meeting last night at the Manenberg police station.
An NHW member, who out of fear didn’t want to be named, said the community was anticipating the rival gangs to shoot in retribution again, following the death of the learner.
“When it comes to gangs, it's very complicated. However, recently the situation seems to have escalated. At times we can’t even leave our homes as they shoot at all times, going through the courts and just firing.
“Our young people used to find comfort in using the sports field for recreational purposes, but nowadays gangs seemingly want to shoot in those areas.
“I can tell you that for the last two Saturdays, every morning they shoot on the field, and games have to be cancelled. It’s unfair and unjust, especially when innocent kids are hurt or dragged into this dangerous lifestyle for lack of better options.”
Councillor Anthony Moses said he has reached out to the provincial government to request the permanent deployment of Leap officers to support police in the patrols as the area only has one vehicle.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape Education Department said it had provided counselling assistance to Cathkin High School.
Spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said: “The passing of the three learners in unrelated incidents is extremely saddening. Our condolences to the family, friends and the school community.”