The murder of a father-of-three in Hangberg last weekend has again highlighted the crime scourge sweeping the area.
Leeroy Steenberg, 32, was stabbed and killed by another man shortly after 10.30am on Saturday December 1. However, for the second time in as many weeks swift action by community saw the suspect apprehended and handed over to police shortly after the incident.
On November 19, people mobilised in their hundreds to apprehend two youths who had stabbed a Rastafarian man (“Residents unite against violence”, Sentinel, November 30).
The details around Mr Steenberg’s murder remain sketchy, but his distraught mother, Hazel Stevens, said she had been informed that he had been stabbed at Hangberg’s B Block.
“At 10.45pm, one of the ladies came to tell me that he had been stabbed. After my son was stabbed, the guy ran away. But between 10 and 15 members of the community chased after him and found him at his house opposite the (Hangberg) clinic. They then called the police, and he was arrested,” she said.
She described her son, who made a living feeding the seals on the harbour, as a “very good dad”. Mr Steenberg’s children are aged nine, six and four.
His brother-in-law, Stephan Asia, said Mr Steenberg had been raising his children on his own.
“There are so many issues in Hangberg. There’s lots that needs to be done to stop the violence,” Mr Asia said.
Pastor Philip Frans, of the Hangberg neighbourhood watch, implored the community to keep up its intensity when it came to ridding the area of criminals.
“After the community mobilised to track down the suspects who stabbed the Rastafarian resident, there was a lot of hope. For the next few days, people were out patrolling to make sure no crimes were committed. But then people lost interest, and now this murder has happened,” he said.
“I am very pleased that the community stepped in again to apprehend the suspect, but we need to be out on the streets more. The police won’t patrol here 24/7, so it is up to the community to ensure crimes aren’t committed.”