CAPE TOWN - Site C residents in Khayelitsha have detailed the horror of having to run for their lives with their children when six people were killed in a hail of bullets in yet another mass killing.
They heard no less than 30 gunshots being fired by gunmen who the police have yet to arrest. The victims of the mass shooting were aged between 22 and 37 years. A woman was stabbed to death not far from the shooting, bringing the total to seven victims on Sunday night.
The motive for the incident is believed to be domestic violence-related. Khayalethu Nelani was among the six people who were shot and killed.
A neighbour, whose name the Cape Times is withholding to protect her, believes that he was killed because he witnessed the shooting and would have identified the gunmen
“He came to me and asked for R2 to buy a cigarette. Before he left I asked him not to be long at the shop because I wanted him to help me with something in the house. He agreed that he is not going to take long. His last words were ‘Mamzo (mother) you know that I am your child so whatever you need I am always available for you’.
“I just ignored him. After the shooting incident, I became worried because he was not returning. One of my neighbours informed me that he had been shot. When I went to see his body at the scene he was lying on the ground. I started crying because he had no parents and I was taking care of him. He helped me in many things including doing my garden and buying groceries for me,” she said.
Another eyewitness said: “We just heard that a woman was stabbed to death by her boyfriend and when we rushed to the scene to see the person we heard gunshots. We ran back to our houses. I heard one of the suspects shouting ‘voetsek’ and after that more bullets were fired. I had to hide my seven-year-old daughter under the bed because I was scared the suspects might come to our houses. After the incident, she did not want to come out from under the bed and begged me not to go out. I have never seen such an incident in my life where seven people die at the same time in the same area,” she said.
Provincial police commissioner Thembisile Patekile said some of those killed were coming from the shop while others were going to the shop when the incident occurred.
“There seems to be no one who is connected to anything according to the community. Sometimes the attire that people wear leads us to identify if these people belong to a certain gang or what. The difficulty we have is that nobody saw these people and no vehicle was on the scene which may have been driven by the suspects. They may have parked the vehicle somewhere so that they cannot be identified by the community,” he said.
He said their strong partnership with the community might lead to some residents coming forward with information.
“Of course with the help of our intelligence we will be able to identify and arrest the suspects,” said Patekile.
The incident brings to 18 the number of people killed in mass shootings in Khayelitsha since March.
Five people were shot dead in Monwabisi Park, Endlovini, in March.
In another incident a week after the Endlovini one, six people were killed in the Enkanini informal settlement.
Police announced on Monday the arrest of a second suspect in the Eastern Cape in relation to the New Monwabisi Park mass shooting and were looking for a third one.
Community Safety and Police Ovesight MEC Reagen Allen said about 400 mass shootings had occurred in the province since 2019.
“This is deeply disturbing, particularly since in recent times the area has experienced a number of mass fatal shootings. My plea to the community is to come forward should they have any information that will assist law enforcement to swiftly apprehend the offenders.
“This once again shows the need for additional resources to be deployed at where these heinous crimes are occurring, with greater police resources, including crime intelligence.
“From a provincial government perspective, we have 71 Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers deployed in the Site B precinct on a 24-hour basis over seven days a week. They also cover the Site C area where yesterday’s shooting occurred,” said Allen.
Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 086 0010 111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211.