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Six people shot dead in Khayelitsha less than a week after five killed in similar incident

Khayelitsha Community Police Forum cluster chairperson Fransina Lukas urged the police to accelerate their investigations after six people were gunned down. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Khayelitsha Community Police Forum cluster chairperson Fransina Lukas urged the police to accelerate their investigations after six people were gunned down. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 22, 2022

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Cape Town - Attempts by police to get a handle on crime in Khayelitsha suffered another setback after yet another mass killing in the area. The latest killings come three days after Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the area in response to the murder of five people last week.

Action Society spokesperson Ian Cameron said what happened on Sunday was a sign the police no longer had control.

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“It’s nothing new, it just adds to the horrific list,” he said

Sunday’s shooting happened after 10 people were killed in Manenberg in the past week and after four men and a woman were gunned down in Endlovini informal settlement in Khayelitsha. The Khayelitsha attack prompted Cele’s visit last Thursday.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said of the latest killings that crime scene experts scoured a scene in the Enkanini informal settlement, Khayelitsha, where six people were shot and killed on Sunday afternoon.

Potelwa said reports from the scene indicated that three unknown gunmen fired shots randomly at the victims in Lindela Road in Enkanini at about 4.10pm.

She said after being alerted to the shooting incident, police arrived and found the bodies of the five victims strewn across two scenes that were 200m apart.

“A sixth person died on arrival at a medical facility. The yet to be identified victims comprise two women and four men whose ages are estimated to be 22 and 27," she said.

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Potelwa said police have opened murder cases that are being investigated by organised crime detectives.

Sunday’s shooting happened after 10 people were killed in Manenberg in the past week and after four men and a woman were gunned down in Endlovini informal settlement in Khayelitsha Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Police on the crime scene in Lindela Road in Khayelitsha where six people were gunned down. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Khayelitsha Community Police Forum cluster chairperson Fransina Lukas urged the police to accelerate their investigations, while acting Community Safety MEC Anroux Marais said she was devastated by the killings and welcomed Cele’s commitment to increase police support to bring calm, increase safety in the area and to ensure the suspects were brought to book.

“The Western Cape government aims to halve the murder rate by 2029 through its provincial safety Plan,” she said.

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ANC provincial spokesperson for community safety Mesuli Kama said Khayelitsha had turned into a killing field.

“This is the second massacre in a space of a few days. It exposes the serious weakness in our crime-fighting strategy,” Kama said.

He called for the deployment of stabilisation units in Khayelitsha and surrounds.

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Kama said the situation in Khayelitsha needed the maximum use of the intelligence services in the province.

Khayelitsha Community Police Forum cluster chairperson Fransina Lukas urged the police to accelerate their investigations, while acting Community Safety MEC Anroux Marais said she was devastated by the killings. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Police on the crime scene in Lindela Road in Khayelitsha where six people were gunned down. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Police on the crime scene in Lindela Road in Khayelitsha where six people were gunned down. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Guy Lamb, a criminologist at Stellenbosch University’s political science department, said the second mass shooting in a short space of time was worrying.

“We don’t quite know what’s going on. Obviously, availability of firearms and ammunition in the hands of gangs and groups that are willing to use them is a great concern, and that’s obviously a common denominator,” Lamb said.

He said it was indicated that the shooting was gang related.

"We often see gangs throughout Cape Town. We've seen in a number of areas not only in Khayelitsha, where gangs want to assert their authority, showing dominance if there are potentially other gangs operating in those areas,“ Lamb said.

He said a gang would assert dominance through random shootings.

“So we often see the sort of random shootings because a gang wants to take control of an area and they want to demonstrate that they can use extreme violence to gain access to specific areas," he said.

"We have seen some of these areas where new settlements sprang up during the state of national disaster and it's quite difficult for landowners and the City to evict illegal occupants, we often see these sort of informal criminal networks operating, trying to seize control of specific areas and extract rents and payments from residents. So that's also entirely a possibility."

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop anonymously at 08600 10111 or via the MySAPS app.

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