Appeal for help as gang war rages

Mogamat Johnson died on the scene while his two-year-old son succumbed to his injuries the next morning.

As the Covid-19 lockdown regulations have eased so violence on the Cape Flats has surged, with 27 people killed in recent gang shootings.

Seven people were shot and killed from Wednesday June 3 to Tuesday June 9.

On Wednesday June 3, Mogamat Johnson, and his two-year-old son, Zhario, were shot and killed on the corner of Tolbos Road and Bonteheuwel Avenue while walking to the shop.

On Monday June 8, Rifaat Thomas, 23, was shot and killed in Smalblaar Street, Bonteheuwel, on his way to the shop. Baaqir Joseph died in a drive-by shooting in Karee Street on the same day.

On Sunday June 7, two men were gunned down in Bramble Way. That evening, an elderly man was shot dead in Als Weg.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie condemned the violence and the impact it had on the innocent.

“This is not just an issue in Bonteheuwel but an issue affecting the entire Cape Flats. Six thousand prisoners have just been released into the Cape Flats, and if you look at the casings found in these shootings, they are brand new, which tells me that someone somewhere has planned these hits.

“I am appealing to the police to do their work and make arrests. This cannot go on. It must stop and police have a responsibility to stop it,” he said.

Last month, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola said 19 000 low-risk inmates across the country would be released on early parole to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in prisons. However, Manenberg police spokesman Captain Ian Bennett said the prisoners had not been released yet – an announcement would be made when that happened.

Hanover Park Community Police Forum chairwoman Kashiefa Mohamad said that about 15 people had been shot and killed in the area since the start of the month.

On Tuesday June 8, a man in his late 20s was shot and killed while walking in Hangklip Court in Lonston Road, at about 7pm.

Ms Mohamad said the fight in Hanover Park was between the Americans and the Ghettos gangs and the Americans and the Mongrels. Despite almost daily police raids more drug houses had opened since the start of lockdown, she said.

“But when there are murders, we have to wait for them to come out, and they take so long. This gang violence needs to end. Our people can’t even go outside then there is shooting every day and every night. It is not fair, and we do not feel safe. The police need to work with the community to overcome this.”

Manenberg Community Safety Forum chairwoman Roegchanda Pascoe said that since the start of June five men had been shot and killed. All of the killings had been gang-related.

According to her the Americans and the Fancy Boys are fighting over drug turf and the black-market cigarette trade.

“This is also time for gang recruitment and the only way we can fight this battle is if the community stands together.”

A 41-year-old man died after being shot three times at Mariana Court in Heideveld on Tuesday June 9, at about 8am. Captain Bennett said a group of men had argued shortly before the killing.

Gang violence in the area had spiked in the past three weeks, he said.

“The current fight is between the Jesters and the Americans and of course the smaller gangs join into the fight. We have deployed additional police to the area, but we are also urging the community to come forward with any information,” he said.