Kamogelo Kgala, 23, from Dobsonville, was stabbed to death last Wednesday morning. On Monday, community members marched to fight for justice and said the area had turned into a murder hotspot.
Dobsonville police spokesperson Constable Mzwakhe Xazi told The Star that although the vacant land where Kgala’s body was found fell under the Jabulani police jurisdiction, the Dobsonville area also experienced high crime levels.
Xazi said that on Friday night a man wearing a security guard uniform was shot and killed in Bramfischerville around 8pm. Dobsonville community members attributed the rise in crime in the area to poverty and unemployment.
“We have no jobs. What must we do to survive and eat? That’s why people rob - they’re hungry and are trying to make ends meet,” said a resident who did not want to be named.
Kgala’s emotional mother, Masego Ramuhashi, described her late son as someone who was selfless and passionate about life.
“He was persistent about his life and dreams. When he was five, he said he wanted to be the president. He was such a loving person,” she said.
His older brother, Kagiso Kedijang, echoed his mother’s sentiments.
“He would always encourage me to dream bigger and always said ‘leave everything in God’s hands’. Those are the words I will live by,” he said.
Ramuhashi said she found out about her son’s death through a WhatsApp message in the family’s chat group. “Seeing my child die defeated me more than the child-bearing pains I experienced bringing him into this world. When I got to the scene I saw my child lying there butchered and battered like a sacrificial cow,” she said.
The bush where Kgala was found falls under Jabulani police station jurisdiction, and Jabulani police spokesperson Dakalo Phemula said no arrests had been made. The matter was still being investigated.
“We’re pleading with the community to come forward with any information,” he added.
As a result of Kgala’s death, Ramuhashi has made it a point to tell her story so that his death isn't in vain.
“Through this march I’m hoping to put an end to this - through prayer and peace. As much as my son was viciously killed, vengeance is not mine,” she said.
Community members voiced said deaths like Kgala’s were something they were accustomed to - they were not shocked by them.
“We’ve tried to engage with the community leaders. We’ve complained that the grass grows high and it’s not maintained. People get robbed and killed. There are also grave sites. Last month a dead woman was found in the bushes. It’s very dangerous,” said a community member.
Xazi was not able to confirm previous incidents in the same bushy area, but said veld and neglected open spaces were an issue in the neighbouring community.
The residents said they would like the area to be used to create a community hall, clubhouse or soccer ground, but their suggestions, like their complaints to the councillor, seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.