Western Cape officials to meet provincial police commissioner after 21st birthday shooting
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Cape Town – Western Cape officials are planning to meet the provincial police commissioner today after the three suspects were arrested for the attack on partygoers in Mandalay on Saturday evening.
The gang-related shooting that claimed the life of a 24-year-old woman, injuring seven others including a 5-year-old child, prompted local police to implement a 72-hour activation plan.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said in pursuit of the suspects, anti-gang unit detectives conducted a tracing operation last night and arrested the suspects aged 22, 35 and 38, who were all from Mitchells Plain.
He said once charged, the suspects would be expected to make their court appearances in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder and attempted murder.
Traut said the incident left a 24 year-old woman fatally wounded and seven others hospitalised.
He said at around 8.20pm occupants of a green Honda Ballade fired randomly at guests attending a birthday party at a residence in Montclair Drive and fled the scene.
"The eight victims aged between 5 and 26 were admitted to hospital where the female later (died, succumbing to her injuries)," said Traut.
A witness, David Mafate, 54, said he didn’t know the people who were partying at the house, all he knew was that they hired the venue to celebrate a 21st, as it has an open space at the garage.
Mafate said they were enjoying the party, when they heard people screaming outside and the sounds of the gunshots, and bullets were flying all over the place.
There was still blood on the floor when the Cape Argus visited the scene yesterday, and tables, chairs and speakers were scattered around, some with bullet holes and drops of blood.
Mafate said people who were shooting were standing by the entrance of the gate. "I heard that the guys who shot at us were looking for someone, because I was told they were seen looking around the area, before they shot at us."
Traut said while detectives were gathering evidence to determine the motive for the callous attack on these young people, the public was requested to come forward with information that could assist with the investigation.
He said additional operations were deployed in Lentegeur policing precinct to stabilise the situation and to support the detectives with their investigation.
"These forces will remain in the area until we are satisfied with the progress of our operational endeavours," he said.
Premier Alan Winde said: “We are devastated by the news of this mass shooting, which claimed the life of one person and injured many others, including young children. No stone must be left unturned in ensuring that all those responsible are brought to book and end up behind bars.
“We will therefore be meeting with the provincial commissioner to receive an update on the implementation of the 72-hour action plan and SAPS’ plans going forward,” Winde said.
“We welcome the swift arrest of three suspects following a tracing operation last night by the anti-gang unit and we will be looking to find out what proactive steps crime intelligence will be taking to prevent this horrific incident from repeating itself.”
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said that this kind of violence cannot be accepted as normal.
“Violence has absolutely no place in our society and I call on the community to come forward and share any information they might have, which will result in the successful prosecution of those guilty parties.”
Cape Flats Safety Forum chairperson Abie Isaacs condemned the acts of "urban terror and low key war" in their communities.
Isaacs said they have noted with concern, in the last few weeks, that crime in specific police resources have become a political point-scoring and electioneering tool.
"We further hold the view that the Western Cape safety plan is failing our communities, boots on the ground and resources do not address the urban terror and the spheres of government working in silos," said Isaacs.
He said they have also noted the lack of community engagements via community formations to address the scourge. He called on all agencies to close the gap and find the alleged suspects.
In a separate incident a father and son were shot inside their house in Delft on Friday night. The police said the motive for the attack was unknown.
Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said upon arrival at the scene in Tossorro Street, Delft, they found the bodies of two unknown men, who sustained gunshot wounds.
He said the victims aged 27 and 51 were declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel. The unknown suspect/s fled the scene and were yet to be arrested.