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Health department sees 355 gunshot-related deaths in 2022

The Western Cape Department of health said 355 gunshot wounds resulting in death occurred in 2022. file image

The Western Cape Department of health said 355 gunshot wounds resulting in death occurred in 2022. file image

Published Apr 30, 2022

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Cape Town - The Western Cape Health Department’s Central data revealed that their hospitals saw a total of 355 gunshot wound deaths in 2022 and 80% of the murder victims died before reaching medical services.

They further said that from their 27 Sentinel Emergency Centres, they had managed a total of 1 309 gunshot wound victims who were between the ages of 20 to 40-years-old and that 89.4% were male.

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Just as the numbers were revealed, newly appointed MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagan Allen said he had visited Manenberg which has seen a spate of gang violence.

Allen, who was appointed last week by Premier Alan Winde, said he called on the police to secure arrests and that he would ensure that his department in the capacity of the SAPS continued oversight.

Mark van der Heever, deputy director of communications for the Western Cape Health Department said they had seen over 350 gunshot wound cases since the start of 2022.

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“Across our 27 Sentinel Emergency Centres we have had to manage a total of 1 309 gunshot wound victims in 2022 to date. Most of these victims are between the ages of 20 to 40, with a large preponderance of men (89.4%) being victims of this modality of trauma,” he said.

While he sympathised with the families of the victims, Allen said it was important that people began to feel safer living in gang-riddled communities.

“I am outraged by the persistent gang-related violence that we have seen in our communities. Just today (Thursday), I visited Manenberg, which is among those communities which have been affected by ongoing gang-related violence.

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“I call on the SAPS in the Western Cape to leave no stone unturned in their investigations and bring those guilty parties to book. The lack of arrests and stabilisation in this regard points to the lack of police resourcing in our province which must be urgently addressed to ensure that residents feel safe in their communities.

“In turn, my department will continue to take its oversight capacity over SAPS very seriously. I also want to share my heartfelt condolences to those who have lost friends, family and loved ones to persistent and senseless violence. The loss of one life, really is the loss of one life too many,” Allen said.

Shootings have increased in recent weeks and months in Cape Town and just last weekend a four-year-old boy was wounded during a drive-by shooting in Langeberg, Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain.

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Prior to that, Monique Cottle, the mother of murdered four-year-old Scarlett Cottle, was also killed during a shooting in Ottery where an adult male died.

Also in April, Lekeesha Smith, also known as Lameez Johnson, 15, was murdered while standing outside her home in Military Heights in Lavender Hill and was celebrating a friend’s birthday.

In March 10 people were killed in Manenberg, and four women and six people were murdered in Khayelitsha during one incident.

Weekend Argus

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