Police chief comes under fire from angry Wentworth residents
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Durban - BULLET holes in furniture and appliances testify to the narrow escape a Durban couple had when their flat came under fire this week.
Nigel Miller and his wife Delyse had been watching television in their flat in Lansdowne Road, Wentworth, when the gunfire rang out on Tuesday night.
“We threw ourselves on the ground. There were more than 20 shots and the gun sounded like a machine gun,” said Miller. When the firing stopped, Miller discovered that his wife had been shot in the ear, and rushed her to hospital. She is expected to be discharged soon.
With them at the time of the attack had been their 19-year old son and two grandchildren, who were unhurt.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said four men had opened fire from a car parked across the road.
Locals said the intended targets had been the other two injured in the attack: two men who had taken cover by the Millers’ home when one spotted a gun in the car that had just pulled up.
The incident prompted SAPS Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula to visit the Wentworth police station yesterday, where he was met by angry residents who demanded the station commissioner fire corrupt officers who worked in the area.
Community activist Justin Titus criticised the response time of police officers to crime scenes, saying residents were often told officers had no vehicles to use.
Titus said the police took about an hour to respond to the murder of Shane Majority near the police station in August, and were also slow to get to the scene of the murder of Brendon “Lolly” Davids in June.
Arlene Glover, who lost her two sons within 40 days, asked the commissioner why suspects were released on bail to kill more people.
“On many occasions I’ve walked here, begging the police to intervene as my sons were being harassed and intimidated by these guys, and all I got was an affidavit and no police intervention. Today both my sons are dead,” she said.
Residents were outraged over the shooting. Elaine Pieterse dismissed Jula’s visit as “a PR exercise”, saying she expected crime would worsen over Christmas.
One of the other two shot in the incident was said to be in critical condition.
Jula said the police’s focus would be on repeat offenders who committed heinous crimes but still got bail. “We’re updating our database to assist us.”