Kraaifontein marches against gang violence

Kraaifontein residents marched against gang violence on Saturday.

Kraaifontein residents, who have seen six murders and one attempted murder in their community since the start of the month, marched, on Saturday, against gang violence.

Ward councillor Grant Twigg joined the 400-odd residents as they walked through Scottsdene, paying their respects to the dead and calling for peace.

Anthea Visagie was also there. Her son, Duran, 11, was shot dead on the corner of Joseph Avenue and Carmen Street on Thursday October 8.

Just days earlier, on Tuesday November 10, 3-year-old Michael Sophat was shot in the stomach. He is in Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

According to his grandfather, George van Rooi, Michael was walking with his dad, Francisco Williams and his younger brother in Willie Street when rival gangs opened fire.

It was only after Mr Williams had run home, when the shooting started, that he had noticed his son had been shot.

“We are happy that Micheal is still alive and doing well after the operation,” Mr Van Rooi said.

Police are investigating an attempted murder case but have made no arrests.

Kraaifontein police spokesman Captain Hein Hendricks said the precinct had seen a spike in killings.

On Thursday November 12, a 30-year-old man died after being shot several times in his upper body in Da Gama Street.

On Friday November 6, a 29-year-old man was shot dead in Thakudi Street, Wallacedene.

Two other men, aged 33 and 28, were shot dead on the same day.

On Monday November 5, a 9-year-old Wallacedene boy was hit in the head by a stray bullet in Skiet Crescent. He died at Kraaifontein day hospital later that day.

A 23-year-old man was shot and killed in his Chenel Street home on Tuesday November 3.

Police have made no arrests in any of these cases.

“To prevent and combat gang violence in Kraaifontein, we have established a gang team,” said provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut. “Patrols within these hot spots have been increased.”

The new team, he said, had the task to remove guns from hot spots.

Police found six guns in the area last week, and a 41-year-old woman was arrested in Masinga Street, Wallacedene, last Wednesday for being in possession of 23 rounds of ammunition.

In the same street, police took a gun and 15 bullets off a 29-year-old man.

The police raided a house in Magubudela Street, Bloekombos, and arrested a 28-year-old woman for having 50 rounds of ammunition. In Andrew Street, Eikendal, they arrested a 33-year-old man for possession of a gun and ammunition.

On Friday November 13, police arrested a 16-year-old at his home in Rusticana Street for being in possession of a firearm.

At the march on Saturday, Mr Twigg called for gangsters to end the killing in Kraaifontein.

“There is shooting on a daily basis, and our children are being killed. I have to attend funerals nearly every weekend,” he said.

A resident, who did not want to be named fearing victimisation, said her son had been threatened by a gang member who had encouraged him to join a gang.

“He is too scared to attend school and is currently writing his final matric exams,” she said.

Kraaifontein Community Development Forum spokesman Louis Botha urged residents to report crime to the police.

More than 400 residents, including children, marched to bring an end to gang violence in Scottsdene.