Fear grips Joe Slovo after double killing

A woman was shot and killed in broad daylight at the end of November. Residents say criminals are becoming more brazen.

Police are investigating a double murder in Joe Slovo last week, but they have drawn criticism from the community for not doing enough to stop killings in the area.

On Tuesday December 7, a man and a woman were shot and killed near Sinenjongo High School. Residents say they heard gunshots on Tuesday night but didn’t think anything of it.

A neighbour, Albert Mkhonzo, said he had seen the couple’s bodies on his way to work the next morning but by then the police had arrived on the scene.

“The couple were known in the community as Thabo and Priscilla. They were good people and we are all shocked as to why anyone would want to kill them,” he said.

“We are living in fear here in Joe Slovo. Every week there is someone who has been killed. We need the police to do a better job of keeping us safe and get these murderers off the streets.”

On Thursday November 25, a 37-year-old woman was shot and killed in nearby Phoenix (“Woman shot dead in Phoenix,” Tabletalk, December 2) and there have been several other shootings and killings in the area.

Community leader Noxolo Mayeki said residents feared for their lives.

“We don’t even know what is happening because some of these shootings seem to be random, and we don’t know who is next. We don’t even know if people are getting arrested because it seems like every week someone is getting shot and killed. The police should be protecting us,” she said.

In September, three men were shot and killed in Joe Slovo. There have been several shootings and killings in the area this year.

Milnerton SAPS station commander Brigadier Dirk Vosloo said they were investigating the December 7 shooting.

“We have requested additional resources from provincial capacities to assist with visibility in the affected areas. The matter is being closely monitored,” he said.

In a statement to Tabletalk, the Milnerton Community Police Forum said the installation of CCTV cameras could be a solution.

“Funds need to be raised to install more monitored CCTV cameras in strategic locations, such as the busy areas in Freedom and Democracy Way,” the CPF said, adding that residents should report crime and not resist if confronted by robbers as a life was not worth material goods.

The criminals counted on fear to keep their identities from being exposed.

“Residents are threatened with their lives should they speak to the authorities, and, unfortunately, statements need to be made to SAPS for these criminals to be arrested and found guilty by the courts. This is one of the main reasons why way too many criminals get away with these acts as not many residents will stand up to them and expose them. Better guarantees for the safety of whistleblowers will result in more of these elements being removed from our streets,” said the CPF

Phoenix resident John O’Connell said he was planning to move his family away from the area.

“I have been a resident here for nearly 15 years now, but I can’t stay here anymore. Every week we hear of someone getting murdered and what are the police doing about it? Nothing. We can’t live in a country that makes it okay for criminals to terrorise the rest of us. This place has gone to the dogs in the last couple of years, and I need to protect my family and get out of here.”

Brigadier Vosloo urged anyone with information about the double killing to come forward.