The Bishop Lavis Community Police Forum (CPF) asked for an urgent meeting with Bishop Lavis SAPS on Monday – this after another fatal shooting in Bonteheuwel on Sunday June 7.
A spate of gang-related shootings hit the area again, after months of relative quiet.
The community is still mourning the death of Mogamat Johnson, and his two-year-old son, Zhario, who were shot in a drive-by shooting on Wednesday June 3.
Mr Johnson died on the scene, while his son succumbed to his injuries at Red Cross Children’s Hospital the next morning (Thursday June 4).
Graham Lindhorst, the Bishop Lavis CPF chairperson, said the urgent meeting was called as “we cannot accept that Bonteheuwel is being kept under the lease of gangsters”.
“We need answers from the authorities. What is their plan? Under lockdown, they should especially have more resources. When the army was in the community, before lockdown was declared, there were much more visibility, but now there is little of that. Gang violence not only flared up in our area, but across other areas like Manenberg and Hanover Park. It seems the gangsters saw the gaps in the system and now they are working overtime to make up for what they could not do when lockdown was implemented.”
On Wednesday June 3, Mr Johnson and Zhario were shot on the corner of Tolbos Street and Bonteheuwel Avenue while on their way to the shop.
Ward 50 councillor, Angus McKenzie, visited the Johnson family to pay his respects on Thursday June 4, and on that same evening the community held a candlelight vigil outside their home.
“This is extremely sad. I am insisting that police leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the perpetrators are apprehended, arrested, prosecuted and sent to jail to never return to society. It is unacceptable that far too many of these murders are not prosecuted. That must stop,” Mr McKenzie said.
According to Mr McKenzie, Sunday’s shooting happened at an illegal soccer match on a field in Bramble Way.
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The man who was fatally shot, was among those gathered for this illegal gathering, when this drive-by shooting occurred.
“The shooting was of no consequence of the soccer match, but it could have been avoided if there was not a congregation of people taking place. These soccer matches cannot take place on our fields during lockdown. These sorts of activities cannot be allowed to continue and we will need to ramp up and ensure a higher level of police visibility in this area,” Mr McKenzie said.
Mr Lindhorst said the upsurge in gang violence is usually associated with drug turfs or leadership battles.
Meanwhile, Albert Fritz, the MEC for Community Safety, condemned the latest shootings and called on SAPS to leave no stone unturned in their investigation.
Said Mr Fritz:: “Since last weekend, we have seen a spike in alleged gang-related shootings within Manenberg, Lentegeur, Bonteheuwel, Beacon Valley, and Lavender Hill, among others.There have been numerous incidents in which children have been affected by the renewed violence that has broken out since we shifted to alert level 3 of the lockdown.
“Gangs are taking advantage of the reduced alert level to settle scores and cause havoc in communities. We will not allow this to happen. Despite our response to Covid-19, the provincial government has not abrogated its commitment to making communities safe. The Western Cape Safety Plan remains committed to halving the murder rate over the next ten years. As such, my department will continue to work with SAPS, neighbourhood watches, community police forums, and all other stakeholders to put a stop to the harm caused by gangs.”