Township’s night of terror

Milnerton SAPS are on the hunt for six gunmen who killed fivepeople last week in Joe Slovo.

Joe Slovo is reeling after a night of terror left five people dead.

According to police, gunmen shot five people in two separate locations in the township last Thursday.

The five victims died at the scene. All the victims were aged 28 to 36.

Police say the shooting took place just after 10pm, and they have launched a manhunt for the six gunmen.

According to provincial police spokeswoman, Brigadier Novela Potelwa, the men arrived at a house in Sekowa Street looking for someone.

When they couldn’t find the person, they attacked two women in the house. They shot and killed one and hit the other over the head with a blunt object. Police will not reveal any more information about the survivor out of fear for her safety.

A few minutes later, the men visited a second house, in Dada Street, where they shot and killed three men and a woman.

“The detectives are hard at work in an effort to apprehend the suspects as well as determine the motive for the murders,” Brigadier Potelwa said.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz called on the police to mount a full investigation to ensure the killers were brought to book.

“Violent crime cannot be the norm in our society,” he said, urging anyone with information to come forward.

Mr Fritz said he would meet with provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata to discuss a recent spate of shootings in the province.

“The shootings that we have seen across the province over the past week are completely unacceptable. Gangsters and criminal elements cannot be allowed to continue exploiting and terrorising our communities as we have seen.”

Joe Slovo residents said they now feared leaving their homes.

Monde Cali lives near Dada Street where the second round of shootings happened.

“I heard the shots, but it sounded like firecrackers,” he said. “It was only until about midnight when we actually found out what had happened. This is such a scary time for us here because we have kids, and we can’t be dodging bullets like we’re in a war zone.”

Another Joe Slovo resident, who did not want to be named, said a gang dispute could be behind the shootings.

“The man that the shooters were looking for is thought to be part of a rival gang. So the two women that were shot in the first house were just collateral damage. The other three people who died with the person who was the target were also just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s very unfortunate because now we have a mass murder on our hands,” said the resident.

However, Milnerton police spokeswoman Captain Nopatya Madyibi said the motive for the killings was still unclear, and the shooters remained at large.

The killing of five people in a single night has also sent shock waves through neighbouring communities.

Jacqui Pember, of the Milnerton Community Police Forum, said the shootings had happened on the community’s doorstep and were of grave concern to them.

Tim Young, a Phoenix resident, said he had been unable to sleep properly since hearing of the killings.

“It’s scary that people can just walk into people’s houses and start shooting and get away. I won’t be able to sleep properly until all those guys are arrested. They have no regard for human life, and we need SAPS to quickly catch these guys because clearly they have done this sort of thing before.”

Wandisile Ngeyi, the ward councillor for Joe Slovo, said: “It is sad, and crime is frequent because guns are in the wrong hands, and that means we are all not safe. These people were shot and killed in their own homes where they should be safe, so these criminals don’t value other people’s lives. The families are reeling in shock and are distraught.”

Anyone with information can call Warrant Officer Jacques Kussel at 074 964 3197 or 08600 10111.