Fear grips IY over killings

Imizamo Yethu residents say they fear for their lives following several fatal shootings in the area.

Eight men have been shot dead in Imizamo Yethu in the past two months, according to a community leader there.

Kenny Tokwe says no one knows who is behind the killings and the police have not made any arrests.

“People are living in fear out in IY, because they do not know why these shootings are happening or what the reason is behind them. It has to come to an end.”

Meanwhile, a ninth man, aged 47, was shot dead two weeks ago in Hangberg, according to Hout Bay police spokeswoman Captain Tanya Lesch. She also said that a 19-year-old man had been shot dead in Imizamo Yethu within days of that incident.

Anthony Chemaly, chairman of the Hout Bay Community Police Forum, said he knew of at least nine killings over the past two months.

Mr Chemaly said he had called an urgent meeting with the police to discuss the killings.

“We are very concerned at the increase in murders,” he said, adding that it was mostly ‘known criminals’ from Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg who had been targeted.

“SAPS are investigating and we await developments and arrests,“ Mr Chemaly said.

Captain Lesch confirmed that there had been an increase in murders in recent months, but she did not say how many.

“SAPS are following up on all leads and make use of informers and investigation aids, but motives are unknown and SAPS continue to follow up on all leads,“ she said, adding: ”Providing information pertaining to all these murder cases could jeopardise the investigation.“

Imizamo Yethu residents like Jennifer Mbolo, the mother of a 14-year-old boy, say they are living in fear for their lives.

“If we hear the shots then I always have to worry whether that news will be for me. I always listen to hear for any people crying and although I pray every time it’s not him, I still feel pain for the mother who will get that news.”

Mr Tokwe has urged residents to be more vigilant.

Developing the area and offering more training opportunities for the unemployed there would make Imizamo Yethu less vulnerable to violent crime, he said.

Captain Lesch urged anyone with information about the shootings to come forward.