Marikana killings raise concerns

2018-01-11 06:00
Some of shebeen revellers at Savimbi shebeen in Marikana where the shooting took place.PHOTOS: Unathi Obose

Some of shebeen revellers at Savimbi shebeen in Marikana where the shooting took place.PHOTOS: Unathi Obose

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Marikana informal settlement residents are fearing for their lives following a shebeen shooting spree and robbery which left two people dead and three others injured last Saturday.

They said police invisibility and the absence of street lights has an impact in the escalation of violent crime in the area.

The incident occurred after about seven men stormed into the Savimbi shebeen in D Section carrying guns and sharp objects and robbed the patrons.

One of the victims, who identified himself only as Maxubuzana said: “It was about 10PM in the evening, we were watching a soccer match between Orlando Pirates and Baroka FC when an armed guy stormed in and pointed the weapon at us.”

According to the witness, the man allegedly screamed: “Ja! sibuyile kwakhona eMarikana. Wonke umntu phantsi. Saph’iwallet ne phone!” (Yes, we are back again in Marikana. Everyone down. Give me your phones and your wallets).”

“I was sitting next to the door going into the bedroom and it was dark inside. I opened it slightly and went in and hid behind the door,” he added.

Ward Councillor Mboniswa Chitha confirmed the incident but stated that residents never complained to him about police invisibility.

“I will have a meeting with the station commander soon to get a report about crime in the area,” he said, but didn’t specify when they will have the meeting.

Chitha rubbished allegations that there were any connections between this incident and the one of last year, where a total of 18 people lost their lives in brazen shooting sprees.

In September 2017, police Minister Fikile Mbalula was forced to deploy a large police contigence in the area as a result of the violence there.

Maxubuzana added that during the latest attack: “I heard others (skollies) also coming in. They were shouting and swearing at the people. I heard one of them saying unga-worry mtshana ndisena 15 bullets apha kum (Don’t worry my nephew I still have 15 bullets in me),”.

He said they then grabbed the shebeen owner and demanded money.

“Unfortunately, one of the criminals was left behind and shebeen revellers caught and attacked him, but was saved when his accomplice returned and opened fire,”.

One of the victims, Musona Fillipus Nauyala,33, died on the spot and the owner and two patrons were injured as a result.

Musona’s uncle Michael Mungoba, 48, described his nephew as humble and people’s person.

“I’m so sad. It’s hard to believe that he is no more. I got a call at about 11 at night (Saturday night) informing me of his death.

Melikhaya Laphi, the E-Section chairperson, blamed lack of police visibility and the absence of street lights as a major problem in Marikana.

“There is high crime rate in the area and I believe if the government should deploy more police, particularly at night, because that is when robbery occurring.”

Philippi-East police station communications officer Captain Bheki Xulu said no arrests had been made.


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