Family of Sydenham man shot dead while on his cellphone, demand justice
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Durban: The family of a slain Sydenham resident is calling for a full investigation into his death and for justice.
Jared Johnstone, 35, of Keal Road, was shot and killed across the road from his home on Monday night. He died at the scene.
A relative, who declined to be named, said she was told Johnstone was on a call when he was shot.
The relative said Johnstone, who was known as Jazzy J, was the eldest of six siblings.
“He was a humble and generous person. He was also a jokester. Jared would tease you, but in a way that made you laugh. He had a big heart and was not the type of person to get into trouble unnecessarily. He preferred to spend time with his family.
“His killing was just senseless. I don't think it's fair that people can be so heartless and go around shooting people without consequences. But over the years, the area has become plagued with crime. Not enough is being done by law enforcement to stop it.
“How many lives are going to be lost before something is done? How many fathers, mothers and children have to die before we get a police presence in the area? For the family, this loss is one they will not get over. It feels almost unbelievable that he is gone. Nobody thought of Jared ever leaving us."
The relative said the family wanted those responsible to be held accountable.
“Life is a gift given to us. Nobody gets to decide when another person dies. Only God does."
Remona Mckenzie, the DA ward councillor in the area, said she had raised the concerns of escalating crime to the party’s members of parliament.
“Residents are living in fear and are scared to even step out of their homes. I have since raised the concerns to our member of parliament who looks at safety and security issues. I now await feedback.
“However, it is also important for the police to conduct their investigations and secure arrests. After the recent shootings in the area, there have no been no arrests. If we had more arrests and convictions, we will have safer communities."
Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala, a provincial police spokesperson, said a case of murder was being investigated. She said the motive for the shooting was not known. Gwala said the police were gathering information regarding the suspects involved in the shooting in Sydenham.
“The SAPS is working tirelessly to ensure that criminals are brought to book. Various units within the police have been tasked to assist Sydenham police officers with their investigations.
“However, despite engagement with the community, no one has come forward with any information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrators. The community is further encouraged to work together with the police and to report those involved in criminal activities by calling the nearest police station."
Anyone with information on crimes committed in the area can contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.