Protesting shooting

2017-09-26 06:01

Ocean View residents protested for three days last week, following the fifth death due to shootings in two weeks.

Ocean View Community Policing Forum chairperson Kathy Cronje says the protest comes as a result of the community’s frustration at a “lack of visible policing and there not being enough police officers”.

She says there have been around 20 deaths in shootings in the community since April, with five of those happening in the last two weeks.

“There have been many, many more shooting incidents.”

Ocean View police spokesperson Sergeant Leon Fortuin confirmed a protest started on the afternoon of Wednesday 9 September.

“The community is fed up about the crime, mainly murders, in Ocean View. [There has been] no violence yet, however, a docket of public violence has been opened,” he says.

The protests continued until Friday, with road closures in place at Kommetjie Road for the duration of the protest.

Ocean View Care Centre Johann Kikillus says the protests started peacefully, until community members were told the police could not meet with them.

“[Thursday] was a continuation. There was an SMS doing the rounds calling on residents to ‘take back their streets,” he says.

Kikillus describes the shootings as taking place “constantly” and for “several hours at a time”.

In June, community members estimated around 65 people had been killed in drug and gang-related violence in Ocean View over an 18-month period.

They estimated at the time that 10 murders had taken place this year (“Cops silent on murders”, People’s Post, 6 June)

Cronje previously told People’s Post that although areas such as Manenberg, Lavender Hill and Vrygrond have more murders, the Ocean View community is smaller and would thus have a much higher death rate per capita.

During the 2015/2016 year, the murder rate in the area reached a 10-year high with 41 murders reported (“Murder rate shoots up”, People’s Post, 13 September 2016).

The increase in murders was attributed to an increase in gang violence.

Lieutenant-Colonel Errol Merkeur, Ocean View Police Station commander, previously told People’s Post that the station has “become part of the Western Cape gang strategy on provincial level to combat the gang violence” and has requested help from other units, such as public order policing and the tactical response team, to increase visibility in Ocean View crime hotspots.

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