‘We can fight this battle if the community stands together’

Mogamat Johnson and his two-year-old son Zhario, were shot and killed in Bonteheuwel. Picture: Supplied

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.

Despite almost daily police raids more drug houses had opened since the start of lockdown, said Ms Mohamad.

“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.

“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.

“We have deployed additional police to the area, but we are also urging the community to come forward with any information,” he said.