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File picture: Pexels

Khayelitsha residents living in fear after 6 killed, 7 wounded

By Odwa Mkentane Time of article published Mar 9, 2020

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Cape Town – Site B residents in Khayelitsha are living in fear after yet another tavern shooting claimed the lives of six people and left seven others wounded in the early hours of yesterday.

A resident who heard the shooting said one of the assailants shouted “senza’ udoor to door operation” (we are doing door-to-door) while speeding off in their getaway vehicle.

The term door-to-door is believed by some to mean that “more attacks are coming”.

“I don’t think the shootings will ever end in Khayelitsha. I heard the gunshots, I could feel my body becoming cold,” said the resident, who requested that his name be withheld as he feared for his life.

Detectives have launched a manhunt for the gunmen who stormed the house, used as a braai venue in Sihawu Crescent, opening fire and killing five people on the spot.

A sixth person died en route to hospital and seven others, including a 6-year-old girl, were wounded.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said: “Provincial detectives are hard at work, probing cases of murder and attempted murder. A 72-hour action plan has been activated for the arrest of a yet to be identified gunmen.”

When the Cape Times visited the area, blood was still all over the scene, covering everything from the curtains to the verandah roof.

Unathi Mkhwambi’s 21-year-old brother Lisa was among those killed in the shooting.

He said he was still in disbelief.

“I feel like part of me is gone. I am not myself at all. I was supposed to meet him here, but I got caught up in something else. My brother does not like noisy and overcrowded places. He prefers a chilled and relaxed environment,” said Unathi.

The shooting came days after the body of Cebo Mndze, who had visited a Site B tavern, was found at Tygerberg mortuary with a gunshot wound to his head on February 26. His car was found abandoned next to the Nonkqubela train station in Site B.

Mndze, a finance administrator, was reported missing by his Brackenfell room-mate when he failed to return home. He was buried yesterday in the Eastern Cape and his family were still searching for answers.

In January, assailants stormed Mafu’s shebeen, also in Site B, firing about 17 shots and killing four patrons.

Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithini Tyhido condemned the incident, saying it was gang-related.

“This is very devastating, no one is safe in our communities anymore. Our government is failing us as a community. We have for a very long time called on the government to build more police stations in Khayelitsha.

"We want police visibility in our areas at all times. As a community we are sick and tired of everyday killings. If the government is slow in building police stations the more people will die,” Tyhido said.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee on police, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said the attack showed the vulnerability of people.

“I was horrified and deeply saddened to learn of this tragic event in which young people were mowed down in the prime of their lives and a further seven may have their lives damaged forever.

“These people are monsters.They are not friendly to anyone. They will turn on those who shelter and help them just as easily as they walked into that shebeen on Sunday morning and shot 11 people,” Joemat-Petersen said.

Police have urged anyone with information to anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.

Meanwhile the Safer South Africa Foundation (SSAF) has partnered with authorities and Khayelitsha residents to address gangsterism, bullying, alcohol and drug abuse.

The collaboration primarily aims to reduce criminality and raise awareness of the need for both learner and community involvement in school safety.

“We have partnered with the police, traffic department, prosecutors, Bellville Magistrate's Court, school principals and the community around Intlanganiso and Matthew Goniwe secondary schools,” said SSAF provincial co-ordinator Nomonde Scott.

“The objective is to demonstrate to learners what the effects of crime are and how they can work with the authorities to reduce crime in their schools and community,” Scott said.

Intlanganiso and Matthew Goniwe secondary schools are the first in Khayelitsha to benefit from the programme.

Cape Times

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