Monray Saunders, 20. SUPPLIED
Monray Saunders, 20. SUPPLIED

Community wants peace after rugby player murdered

By Genevieve Serra Time of article published Jul 31, 2021

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Cape Town - Community members are calling for peace after retaliation shootings this week, following the murder of a promising Western Province rugby player in Delft on last Friday.

A memorial is being arranged, with the hopes of bringing calm and peace to the streets of Delft.

Monray “Brakkie” Saunders, 20, was shot and killed in Moroto Street.

Close family and friends fear for their lives after retaliation shootings.

Chillingly, on Saunders’ final Facebook post, dated July 23, he wrote about death.

“Screaming thug life till I die,” he said quoting late rapper Tupac Shakur.

“I’m proud of myself, I could’ve died,” he added.

Family and friends have denied that Saunders was part of any gang and said he was a proud rugby player.

A family friend, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons, said they were hoping to host a memorial programme with various artists in the community to spread the message of peace.

“Saunders was shot this week and it retaliated into more shootings. This escalated because people felt he was not a gangster but a Western Province rugby player. He was well-known in the area.

“He was a talented young man and was going to turn 21 this year. There is an ongoing gang war in N2 Gateway in Delft since lockdown,” the family friend said.

One family member said it felt like a constant battle between the community and the gangs.

“We are trying to send off someone who can, via his passing, spread peace and love and now there is a community in resistance. We grew up in a camp, Freedom Farm and this has shocked our community and someone so close and he was a sportsman.

“We are not happy with what happened, a life has been taken. We do not know all the circumstances behind the situation.”

Saunders’ father, when contacted by the Weekend Argus, said he was not available to speak.

Pastor Charles George, of the Delft Community Policing Forum, said they were aware of the recent spate of shootings.

“The ongoing shootings are a big problem. Unfortunately, we are in a position where the community will accept it as the norm.

“Once this has been adopted by the community as the norm, we will have bigger problems. We need to continue speaking out to the community that this is not normal and that we need to bring about a solution.

“It is creating an environment where our young people are doubting their future, these negative happenings are taking away hope from them,” said George.

Delft police station spokesperson Captain John Bartlett yesterday said he was currently on sick leave and could not respond to queries.

Weekend Argus

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