Western Cape serious violent crime detectives are on the hunt for a suspect allegedly involved in the murders of three people in Gugulethu, after they made swift arrests of his alleged accomplices.
New Year’s day at NY 137 was marred by a shooting after four people came under attack in the afternoon while in a vehicle.
Three men died in the hail of bullets and one was seriously wounded.
“Reports at the disposal of police indicate the victims were in a vehicle about to drop off someone when another vehicle with occupants emerged and several shots were fired,” said provincial police spokesperson Novela Potelwa.
“As a consequence three people died from the first vehicle and a fourth one was taken to a medical facility after sustaining serious injuries.
“Since the incident occurred provincial serious violent crime detectives have been hard at work in pursuit of the perpetrators of the act.”
Detectives with crime intelligence pounced on the suspects early on Wednesday at different locations.
“The serious violent crime detectives armed with crucial intelligence arrested two suspects. The arrests were effected in Goodwood and Blue Downs.
“As investigations unfold the detectives have set their sights on another suspect. The motive for the shooting is the subject of the police investigation currently under way,” said Potelwa.
The suspects, aged 26 and 36, are expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court tomorrow on charges of murder and attempted murder.
A resident who spoke anonymously for fear of victimisation said the community was shocked by the incident.
“It seems like these were people who know each other. The suspects followed the people attacked. I’m told more than 50 cartridges were recovered in the vicinity of the bodies and one of the men who attempted to run was chased and shot dead.
“The problem about such incidents is that innocent lives who know nothing will be hurt. We thought things would be better this year but we have no confidence if we start the year like this,” the resident said.
Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen welcomed the breakthrough and swift arrest.
“If this is the precedent that the SAPS is setting at the beginning of the year, in how they utilise their intelligence, then criminals should start shaking in their boots.
“I thank the SAPS for their speedy work in this regard. I encourage anyone with information to make it available to all law enforcement agencies, so that the third suspect can also be arrested.
“It is critical that we remove any and all criminal elements off our streets and place them behind bars,” said Allen.
Community police forum (CPF) provincial board chairperson Francina Lukas said: “We bemoan the bloody start to the new year in Gugulethu.
“It signals that the community is not safe and is not getting the feeling of safety. We call for more intervention from law enforcement agencies with a special focus on crime prevention.”
Another board member, Rafique Foflonker, said they were equally alarmed by the targeting and killing of CPF and neighbourhood watch members.
Nosipho Sopuwa, a member of a neighbourhood watch in Philippi, was gunned down in her Browns Farm home on Sunday. It is believed she was threatened after reprimanding someone during a patrol walk earlier on.
“It is absolutely unacceptable. The board and Minister of Police Bheki Cele did say these cases need to be analysed.
“More training and capacity is needed for the community safety structure to be able to deal with threats as they work on the ground,” he said.
Meanwhile Lungile Anthony Madolo, the man accused of killing Gugulethu CPF deputy chairperson Lulama Dinginto in her home last month, has abandoned his bail.
The 35-year-old appeared last week facing charges of murder, housebreaking, and possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Anyone with information about the Gugulethu murders can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111, or SMS Crime Line on 32211.