Manenberg police remain on high alert after a second riotous confrontation within three days, which left two police officers shot and injured and police vehicles damaged.
In the latest incident, a 33-year-old sergeant was shot in the foot, and police vehicles damaged in the early hours of Sunday November 27, in Manenberg Avenue.
During the same incident, a 25-year-old man was also left with serious injuries after being shot in the head.
The sergeant was the sixth police officer shot within six days in Cape Town – three of them were killed. Sunday morning’s incident in Manenberg involved the second officer shot within three days in the area.
On Thursday November 24, Captain Ettienne Conradie was shot in the stomach while busy with an operation in Renoster Walk. Constable Masibonge Mqwada, 33, stationed at Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, was off-duty when he was shot and killed during an attempted hijacking in Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, in the early hours of Saturday November 26.
Police held a wreath-laying ceremony at the Philippi East police station followed by a memorial service at the New Apostolic Church, in Tafelsig, for the slain officers, yesterday, Tuesday November 29.
The Provincial Commissioner of the Western Cape Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula, and other police senior management attended.
Constable Thandoxolo Ndiki, 30, was found shot in the upper body in Delft on the same day. He died later in hospital. He was stationed at Athlone SAPS.
Constable Amanda Ladlavuka, was shot and killed in Philippi East on Tuesday November 22. Her partner was shot and wounded in the same incident.
Manenberg SAPS spokesperson, Captain Ian Bennett confirmed the latest incident in that community. “With the ongoing gang violence, high density operations were held from Friday November 25 to Sunday November 27. Members deployed to the area came under attack once again, leaving a 33-year-old sergeant shot in the foot. Vehicles were left damaged.
A 25-year-old man was also left seriously injured when he was shot in the head. He was taken to Heideveld emergency centre for treatment. “This type of behaviour shows that the community is not serious about stopping gang violence.
“The community easily complains when SAPS have operations to prevent crime and points out the heavy handedness of SAPS members, but they fail to point out gangs and gang members that disrupt their lives through violent attacks.
“Killing and raping of our children happen in broad daylight. They then fail to point the perpetrators out, fearing gang retaliation, but it has become a norm to attack SAPS members, and to damage SAPS vehicles, by stoning them when members are conducting investigations or policing the area,” Captain Bennett said.
Chairperson of the Manenberg Safety Forum, Roegchanda Pascoe, said “word on the street” was that the violence flared up again because of in-fighting among gang members. “The situation is hostile and everybody is on edge. I love Manenberg very much, but the situation has become so dire for me, that I can’t handle living in the area anymore. The violence has affected my health. I am constantly sick, I’ve lost a lot of weight, and I am on anti-depressants. All we can do is pray. God is our refuge,” Ms Pascoe said.
When asked about police officers coming under attack from the community, she added: “I think when they pelt police vehicles with bricks, it’s to cause a diversion – especially if police are busy with raids.
“What is the use of attacking the police, when the gangs continue on their shooting sprees?”
Captain Bennett also appealed to the community to assist the police, instead of fighting them. “The community need to stand up for the right things.
“There are excuses that the community don’t trust SAPS members because of corruption. This is not an excuse to protect gangs. The community is welcome to come forward and point out any corrupt SAPS member and an investigation will be launched.
“They could contact the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) or the Department of Community Safety directly.
“There is no excuse to attack SAPS members and encourage lawlessness. During this week, we lost three police officers. My sincerest condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of those who have lost their lives,” Captain Bennett said.
Meanwhile, Community Safety MEC, Dan Plato, has offered a reward of R100 000 for anyone with information that will result in the arrest and conviction of those who killed police officers in the Western Cape.
“The Western Cape Government condemns cop killings,” said Mr Plato.
“While we have no operational control over SAPS, our government is committed to supporting the hard working officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect others. “Though no reward will bring back the fallen officers to their loved ones, I sincerely hope that anyone with credible information on the incidents will do the right thing and assist the police and law enforcement authorities.
“It is important to remember that police killings, however unrelated, remain the vicious acts of individuals who do not represent the sentiment of the broader community.
“Only a select few in our society are responsible for these crimes. Those responsible for the crimes are, however, someone’s child, someone’s sibling or someone’s neighbour – these are the people that need to break their silence and assist the police.”
Anyone with information can contact Manenberg SAPS at 021 699 9400 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111.