11 suspects arrested at hotel over Khayelitsha mass shootings
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Cape Town – Police detained 11 suspects in the early hours today after a series of shooting incidents in Khayelitsha on Saturday that left 13 people dead and several injured.
The suspects were nabbed at a hotel in Sea Point at about 3am by a task team comprising Lockdown II forces, intelligence officials, organised crime detectives and a combat contingent, Western Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said in a statement.
’’They are currently being questioned with a view to charging them later. Once charged, the suspects will face murder and attempted murder charges. As the investigations progress, more charges could added,’’ said Potelwa.
Nine people were shot and killed at different locations in Site B, Khayelitsha, on Saturday. Four others died due to injuries sustained from the shooting incidents in hospital and five were seriously wounded.
Shortly after the murders occurred, Western Cape acting provincial police commissioner Major-General Thembisile Patekile instituted a 72-hour Activation Plan.
Patekile said yesterday: “We have moved from the unknown to the known. Persons of interest include possible suspects in the shooting due to a number of reasons, including that they were near the scene or were at the scene.
“The investigation will reveal what the motive was, but we are looking at the groups that have been working towards extortion in this area.”
A witness, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, said he was in a nearby shack when he heard gunshots, the Cape Times reported.
“About 15 of these men went past the shack carrying huge guns. They were wearing masks. They came here to look for members who belong to a rival extortion gang who had allegedly killed their boss.
“They went into a Somali shop and demanded money, but the Somali guy refused and they shot at him,” the resident said.
The Somali Community Board of South Africa blames police inaction for the unabated extortion of foreign-owned businesses and killings in the townships.