Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, commends the police services for swiftly arresting five suspects, following various fatal shooting incidents, which over the last few days occurred in Bishop Lavis, Mitchells Plain and Kensington. Twelve others are currently being questioned by SAPS.
One 23-year old suspect that was arrested in the early hours of this morning in an informal settlement in Athlone, was also found in possession of R29 000 in cash, medical supplies, cellphones and a gas welder with regulators.
Minister Winde said: “All the detectives, the Anti-Gang Unit and officers that assisted with the investigation, which led to these arrests must be congratulated. It is especially the Anti-Gang that must be applauded for their recent successes. This clearly demonstrates how effective SAPS can be, once there is a specialised unit in place. Minister of Police, Bheki Cele would do well to ensure that other specialised units are also urgently reintroduced.”
In one incident on Christmas eve in Bishop Lavis where a drive-by shooting occurred, two children, aged six and four were fatally wounded, while five people sustained serious injuries. In another drive-by shooting incident in the same area, a 56-year old woman was fatally wounded and three people sustained injuries. The wounded are being treated in hospital.
Minister Winde said: “I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in these cowardice attacks. I encourage community members to share any additional information they might have with the SAPS, so that any outstanding suspects can be arrested. We will track all cases, as we have to ensure that these heartless criminals face the full might of the law, and once found guilty, are sentenced to lengthy jail terms.
I would also like to once again, urge all residents to report where illegal firearms are being stored in their communities so that we can work with the police to have them removed. By dialling 078 330 9333, residents will be contributing to removing an illegal firearm form their area. Not only will this help in ensuring that the firearm does not claim another victim, but when the police successfully confiscate the illegal firearm, the resident who reported it will receive R10 000 from the Western Cape Department of Community Safety.”
All charged suspects are expected to appear in the Bishop Lavis court soon.