New gang Bafarasai threatens Boko Haram reign of terror in Mamelodi
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Pretoria - The reign of terror unleashed by Boko Haram in Mamelodi, Pretoria, is said to be crumbling, as a new gang known as Bafarasai is alleged to be hellbent on taking over control of the township.
Some locals, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, said some Bafarasai members had previously been victimised by Boko Haram and wanted revenge.
The emerging gang is said to be made up of unemployed young men living in Mamelodi east and Extension 5.
“Although some of them are aggrieved because Boko Haram killed their relatives and loved ones some years ago, their primary intention is to take over control of Mamelodi,” one community member said.
The resident said wresting control from Boko Haram would mean using the same modus operandi of terrorising the community.
“Boko Haram is benefiting by demanding protection fees from the Pakistanis running tuckshops in the area and money from developers. The Bafarasai want to do the same – they want to control councillors so that whenever there is a community project they can also benefit,” said another community member, who also asked for anonymity.
Another resident told the Pretoria News that those involved in the gangs were driving fast cars and were able to make more than R700 000 per month.
“Those washing cars are made to pay R400 (in protection fees). When you operate a salon you also pay. There is no way you can have a business in Mamelodi and not pay them,” said a resident.
Other people believed the Boko Haram rule was being weakened, especially after reports that its gang members were in hiding because they feared they could be killed. This was after at least three people linked to Boko Haram were recently killed.
One of the victims was shot down last week near Masakhane bridge in Mamelodi, while two were gunned down on August 29 at Santorini Pub in Mamelodi West, allegedly by four armed men, who stormed the drinking outlet.
It was said that the shooting took place during the birthday celebrations of a fellow gang member.
On Friday, Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said he was not in a position to comment on whether there was another gang wanting to take over from Boko Haram.
Regarding the Santorini pub murder, he said the provincial detectives’ task team was charged with dealing with the case of murder and attempted murder.
The SAPS found two victims with several gunshots to their bodies and faces, Masondo said. “While police were arranging paramedics and investigating the scene, an unknown gunman shot at them from behind an electric meter box. The police ran for cover and the gunman proceeded to shoot at the state vehicle with a heavy calibre weapon suspected to be an R5 or an AK47.”
He said the victims died on the scene and they were identified as Thabang Aron Mahlaula, 24, and Thabo Sydney Mnisi, also suspected to be in his mid-20s.
“The police officers were not injured during the attack, and they were referred for counselling,” Masondo said.
On the murder that took place in Silverton, police urged anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect or suspects to contact 10111 or their nearest police station.