Three men who were allegedly collecting money from an informal business in Nyanga were shot an killed in a suspected business extortion incident on Sunday.
According to police, the incident happened in Ntlangano Crescent where the victims were believed to have been ambushed in a possible extortion-related attack.
The Nyanga Community Police Forum (CPF) said the men were not far from the shop when the shooting happened.
CPF secretary Dumisani Qwebe said the trend of killing for extortion was getting out of hand.
“Extortion is becoming a problem and innocent families become victims of such acts.
“Every criminal is now jumping on this extortion bandwagon and it’s sad for those around because it increases the mass killings.
“One of the residents I spoke to said she is even scared to walk outside, and whenever she walks in the streets she looks over her shoulder because gunshots are an everyday thing.
“This is depressing residents. Children are not safe because they might also be caught in the crossfire.
“These killings are a major problem and it’s utterly unacceptable,” he said.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said: “Detectives and crime scene experts are examining a scene in Nyanga where three men were gunned down in what we believe could be linked to extortion or possibly a retaliation attack.
“The three yet to be identified victims were ambushed by their killers at around 4pm and killed on the scene.
“One of the victims was found inside his white Toyota Avanza, one next to the vehicle and one in a tailoring business operating from a container in the street.”
Western Cape CPF board chairperson Francina Lukas said residents should “normalise alerting the police to incidents”.
“This is really a pandemic in the province, it’s worrying to such an extent that the innocent are also not safe.
“Our call is that everyone must work with the police so that this is dealt with and perpetrators are brought to book.
“The police can’t work on their own; they need communities to come together and report such,” she said.
Anyone with any information about the incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111, SMS Crime Line on 32211 or use the My SAPS App.