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How Khayelitsha teen escaped family killing horror

Published May 24, 2022


Cape Town - A Khayelitsha teenager escaped the mass killing of her family by squeezing herself through a burglar gate when armed men in dark clothes opened fire, killing three siblings in Ekuphumleni.

The Titus brothers Alfred, 50, Samuels, 57, and their sister Jacoba ,54, were shot dead when the gunmen stormed the house on Sunday.

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Organised crime detectives have since initiated an investigation and were pursuing several leads, said police spokesperson Novela Potelwa.

“Lingelethu police were called out to Lindelwa Street, where they found the bodies of two men and a woman with gunshot wounds. It is alleged that two armed men in dark clothes stormed the home at 8.10pm and fired several shots.

The ages of the deceased persons are 51, 53, and 57. Information indicates all three victims were siblings.

“No arrests have been affected yet,” she said.

Family friend and neighbour David Moyakhe said the incident had ripped his heart apart.

“I left them here yesterday (Sunday) at about 7.50pm while they were busy ironing uniforms for school kids. At about 8pm, just when I got into my house, people came knocking on my door to report the shooting.

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“I was shocked because I had just left the house. I immediately went to the scene and when I arrived I saw two bodies lying on the floor in the sitting room and the third lying on the floor in the bedroom. The sitting room was full of blood.

“The 15-year-old managed to escape the scene by squeezing herself through a bathroom burglar (gate) and jumping to another neighbour's house.

“I am still amazed how she managed to squeeze herself out ... She is traumatised and I can imagine what she is going through now,” said Moyakhe.

The incident comes days after six people were shot dead in Site C, also in Khayelitsha, earlier this month. Two other mass killings in the township involved six people in Enkanini informal settlement and five in Endlovini informal settlement in March.

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The latest mass killing brings to 60 the number of people killed in Khayelitsha between May 2021 and May 2022, according to Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) chairperson Ndithini Tyhido.

“There is nothing we can do. As the KDF, we are tired of continuously saying Rest In Peace. We need a properly coordinated response to the problems facing Khayelitsha, which we are not receiving. We feel like the people of Khayelitsha are being squeezed politically by all three spheres of government.

“They will tell you about the work they do in Khayelitsha but the mass shootings are continuing. The new MEC will tell you about the success of the LEAP and you wonder where they are succeeding because people are being killed in numbers.

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“Eight years back we pushed the national government to build a police station in Makhaza but instead, they pushed it down on the list of priorities.

The people of Khayelitsha are forced to find a way to respond to the situation because they don't have a choice,” said Tyhido.

In another mass shooting spree, six people were wounded in a shooting in Nyanga Junction near Manenberg while waiting for a bus to work in Duinefontein Road.

The victims, aged between 35 and 58 were transported to the nearest hospital for medical treatment.

Cape Flats crime activist Roegshanda Pascoe said Community Police Forums (CPF) and Neighbourhood Watches needed to have a plan to curb crime in their areas.

“The shooting started at about 3am. Why have SAPS not come up with an intervention plan when shootings started? We have law enforcement and SAPS who are supposed to identify the hot spots and make sure that they keep an eye on them.

What hurts most is the fact that the parents in these areas are always worried if they will arrive at work or their children will arrive at school because the gangs use that period when parents go to work or kids go to school to start shooting,” said Pascoe.

MEC for Community Safety and Police Oversight Reagen Allen said every bit of crime intelligence and investigation ability should be employed to find and arrest the criminals.

“I want these perpetrators found and arrested speedily. This terror has no place in our society and must be brought to an end,” said Allen.

Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 086 0010 111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.

Cape Times