Man, 67, on his way to collect pension killed in gang shooting

2017-10-04 07:27
Two children play in a Manenberg park as a neighbour keeps an eye over them. (File, Tammy Petersen, News24)

Two children play in a Manenberg park as a neighbour keeps an eye over them. (File, Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - A 67-year-old man on his way to collect his pension was shot and killed after he was caught in what is believed to be gang-related crossfire.

On Monday morning, October 2, Lesley Idas set out early to go collect his pension at a pay point but wound up becoming yet another casualty of Manenberg's bloody gang war.

Idas lay for hours in a pool of blood after apparently trying to intervene in an alleged gang shooting in the early hours of the morning.

According to locals, there have been sporadic shootings for the past two months, starting with the notorious Hard Livings waging war against the Clever Kids and the Dixie Boys, and escalating to the Americans and Jesters also fighting against the Hard Livings.

READ: Clinic staff caught in suspected gang shootout

Idas, who grew up in Manenberg but had since moved to Delft, had been visiting loved ones in the area and spent the night at a friend's house on Sunday, relative Amiena Williams told News24.

He is believed to have left the friend's house early to collect his pension and then go to the local day hospital.

'A kind old man'

Williams said they heard about what had happened to "Uncle Les" when a resident knocked on their door shortly after 04:00 on Monday.

"The man told us he had been shot. When we got there we saw him lying in the street, face down in a pool of blood."

She said word on the street was that Idas had tried to intervene in the shooting, while police suspect he was caught in the crossfire as he had sustained a single bullet wound to the back of his head.

READ: Gang shootout erupts in front of Cape Town court

Williams counted 13 bullet casings around his body.

"Who would want to hurt him? He was never involved in gangsterism and he wasn't a troublesome person. He was a kind old man who never bothered anyone," Williams said, shaking her head.

"Everyone is heartbroken by what happened to him. For an old man to die like that..."

Children kept indoors

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the murder, saying Idas had been walking down Red River Road when the gunfire erupted.

A 26-year-old man had been injured, he said.

It is understood the suspected gangster had been shot once in the neck and as he fled, was hit again in the leg but still managed to escape by running between the flats nearby.


Police on patrol in Manenberg Avenue on Tuesday. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

On Tuesday, the usually bustling streets of Manenberg - about 12km outside the city centre - were deserted, as parents kept their children indoors after a morning of intermittent shootings.

It was shameful that children weren't even able to play in the park as their mothers had to worry about them being struck by stray bullets, Mercia Soules said.

"It's the school holidays. My kids should be having a nice time with their friends, not sitting in the house because we are afraid of when the skollies [gangsters] open fire," the frustrated mother of three lamented.

"It's very bad here. My 4-year-old daughter is so traumatised by this nonsense. This morning the wind picked up and one of the doors slammed shut. She wouldn't stop screaming because she thought it was a gun being fired.

"This is no way for people to live. We are being held hostage by rubbishes who think they are kwaai [cool] because they walk around with weapons and need manskappe [a crew] to fight their battles. Hulle is fokken cowards [They are fucking cowards]."

Residents sceptical about change

A number of police vehicles were seen patrolling Manenberg Avenue, known to locals as "Die Laan", the vicinity where most of the shootings have been taking place.

Authorities said extra resources, including the stabilisation unit and metro police, have been deployed to restore calm to the area.

But residents were sceptical that anything could ever stop the bullets and bloodshed.

"This has been going on for decades - year in, year out. You start to get used to it," resident Mailie George said in resignation.

"We are a damaged community, thrown here by the apartheid government and told to survive. This shit has been going on since the 1970s. Do you really think anything will ever change?"

Read more on:    cape town  |  gang violence  |  crime

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