Knife killings on the increase

2016-06-15 06:00
AN illustration of a crime scene.  Photo:

AN illustration of a crime scene. Photo:

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BETHLEHEM. Z In just two months, April and May, a total of five people have been stabbed and killed in the area.

Lt. Genl Simon Mpembe, the Free State police’s provincial commissioner, has expressed his shock at the alarming rate with which residents of Bohlokong near Bethlehem were losing their lives at the hands of knife-wielding criminals.

Capt. Zweli Mohobeleli, the Bethlehem spokesperson, said the majority of the murders had occurred at night, especially in the early hours and on weekends.

He said the reality that the incidents appeared to be alcohol-related left a bitter taste in one’s mouth.

“Four of the victims are adult males. Comparatively, no murders had been reported during the same period in 2015.

“Three suspects (shockingly all youths) have been arrested in connection with the crimes. However, there seems to be a societal problem which requires solutions deeper than mere policing,” he said.

He said they therefore appealed to all residents of Bohlokong to take part by actively exerting their influence or changing their behaviour.

“We challenge community leaders in different spheres to become involved. Work together with law enforcers to police your streets. Residents must refrain from walking in secluded, dark areas at night.

“Avoid displaying cash or any items which could unwittingly entice criminals,” Mohobeledi said.

“Rest assured, those who carry dangerous weapons with the intent to inflict harm shall be arrested and put behind bars. Liquor operators who work outside the confines of the law will also be dealt with without compromise,” he said.

“We are aware of the patterns in these crimes and are taking all steps necessary to bring such barbaric behaviour, where neighbours kill each other, to an end.”

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