DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni, has called on police to act swiftly in their investigations of the shooting incidents in Inanda and Richmond, in which 14 people died.
Both incidents happened on Friday. Nkonyeni expressed her condolences to the families of the deceased.
According to police reports, it is alleged that at 2.30pm, a vehicle with three occupants arrived at a tuck shop in Amaoti, Inanda, and opened fire on a group of men sitting behind it. Six men, aged between 17 and 26 years old, were killed in the attack.
In the Richmond incident, police received a call from the community about gunshots at eSigcakeni, in Richmond. Police discovered that eight people were killed and two injured during the attack on a homestead. The deceased were aged between 15 and 41 years old.
Police said the motive for the shootings had not yet been established, but information gathered at both scenes suggested that the incidents may have been drug- related.
Nkonyeni called on the communities of Inanda and Richmond to come forward with information that could assist police in apprehending the perpetrators.
KZN violence monitor and analyst Mary de Haas attributed the spate of crimes to a dysfunctional justice system.
“What is happening is a symptom of our broken criminal justice system. It starts with the Crime Intelligence problem. How is it possible for all these guns and so much ammunition to be circulating without police identifying and prosecuting those with guns?” De Haas asked.
She added that organised crime needed to be addressed.
“The bigger problem is organised crime, including drug dealing.
“This problem goes back to apartheid and it is disgraceful that although the new government was warned about it, nothing at all was done and it has got far worse, ruining many young lives,” she said.
De Haas added that a new unit, independent of police, like the Scorpions, was urgently needed to tackle this scourge.
Mthokozisi Madlala, councillor for ward 2 in Esigcakini in Richmond, said the community condemned the incident.
“We are against the killing of people in our area,” said Madlalala.
“It seems as though there are people who want to take the law into their own hands. They are a problem for those of us who are trying to fight this.”
He added that they were in talks to discuss the formation of a community policing forum that would aid in the fight against crime.
Madlala urged members of the community to report crime.
“It is important for community members to report whatever crimes they witness.
“Reporting these crimes also allows us to put pressure on the system and encourage the police to do their jobs with due diligence ... but if they do not report, then the criminals get away with it. It does happen that they choose not to report out of fear, but they must know that our offices are open to assist,” he said.