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Manenberg, “a bloody-warzone”

Residents of Manenberg have pleaded with authorities to help calm the situation in the community. Picture: Leon Lestrade/ African News Agency/ ANA

Residents of Manenberg have pleaded with authorities to help calm the situation in the community. Picture: Leon Lestrade/ African News Agency/ ANA

Published May 22, 2022

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MANENBERG residents are being held hostage and live in fear as gang violence escalates. A video depicting heavy gunfire, which includes a machine gun, has led to additional police deployments.

The 30-second video shows a group of 20 men firing guns at each in Manenberg.

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Within the first 10 seconds of the clip, as many as 11 shots were fired.

One of the shooters, who appears to be handling a machine gun, goes on his knees and fires a volley of shots, before lifting the gun in the air and handing it to another shooter to have a turn. At the end of the video, the shooters are seen running in different directions.

Police spokesperson Colonel André Traut said they were aware of the video, which was shot on Thursday.

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Traut said the Anti-Gang Unit was deployed to the area shortly after the video was circulated. It is not clear whether arrests have been made.

In a separate incident a day later, police were called to a scene where a 42-year-old was gunned down shortly after 7pm in neighbouring Heideveld.

“The victim, who is believed to be from Woodstock, was visiting someone in Susan Court in Heideveld when an unknown suspect shot and killed him.

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“The suspect fled and is yet to be arrested,” said Traut.

This shooting happened just hours after the MEC for community safety and policing oversight, Reagen Allen, visited the area.

Allen described the situation in Manenberg as “completely unacceptable”, adding that residents were being held hostage in their own community.

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The Anti Gang Unit have been deployed to Manenberg. Picture: Supplied

Allen said residents were against what was happening and wanted to see criminals apprehended and convicted.

“I heard their pleas and will be returning in due course with relevant cabinet colleagues to address some of the community’s other socio-economic concerns.

“It is important to state that we will combat lawlessness wherever it occurs. Criminals must know that they will not be able to rest.”

To encourage the sharing of information, Allen said they would be reintroducing a reward system for the anonymous reporting of where illegal firearms can be found.

“Further details about the rewards system and how to report the whereabouts of an illegal firearm will be communicated over the next few days.”

A resident who spoke to the Weekend Argus on the basis of anonymity said her hope was that Manenberg would become safe again.

“In the past, you could walk freely, without even having to look over your shoulder. Your children could play in the streets because you knew the older kids were watching them. You would hear gunshots, yes, but you would never hear of an innocent ­person being shot.”

The resident, 56, said she would use the tip-off line if it were introduced.

“I won’t even take the money. I just want this stuff to come to an end.”

South African Human Rights Commissioner Chris Nissen said Manenberg’s situation was heartbreaking.

“We are living in a bloody war zone. To see how young children have to constantly duck and dive … It’s a cause for concern.

“However, I believe it can change if the community stands together.”

This week has been a bloody week for the streets of the Cape Flats.

Chris Nissen described the Manenberg situation as a “bloody-war-zone”. Picture Leon Lestrade/ African News Agency/ANA

On Tuesday, two men were shot and injured in Pecos Walk in Manenberg just after 6pm.

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the two victims had been sitting in a car when three suspects opened fire on them. The three fled the scene on foot.

Van Wyk said the two men, who were injured, were aged 29 and 41.

A case of attempted murder has been opened for investigation.

A day later, Zubaira Hendricks, 17, from Hanover Park, was gunned down by unknown suspects while seeing his mom off to work.

The incident occurred in Halman Walk shortly before 8am. Hendricks died at a nearby hospital.

Van Wyk said a murder case had been registered for investigation.

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