Residents intensify protests

2018-08-28 06:00
The residents who had blocked Voortrekker Road moved the protest to the local police station where some camped outside while a delegation held discussions with the police inside.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

The residents who had blocked Voortrekker Road moved the protest to the local police station where some camped outside while a delegation held discussions with the police inside.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

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Kensington and Factreton residents are not prepared to give up their efforts to fight against crime and gang violence in their area.

This was evident when a large group of local residents blocked Voortrekker Road in the early morning hours of Friday 24 August, protesting against the scourge.

Despite a string of protest actions and calls for more policing resources recently, the area has not been spared of shootings, many of them fatal.

This spurred local residents to intensify their actions, using rocks and boulders to block the busy Voortrekker Road to draw attention to their plight. The protest took place strategically during peak traffic hours, leading to hours of traffic disruptions. Police and various other law enforcement authorities gathered at the scene to monitor the protest. The protestors made it clear their protest was peaceful.

The latest protest comes after several fatal shootings in the area.

Just last week, on Tuesday 21 August, multiple shooting incidents were reported, reportedly between rival gangs in the two suburbs­.

Police are reportedly investigating five different crime scenes.

Victims included two unidentified men shot dead in Ventura and Lysander streets; a man injured in Drommedaris Street, and a 14-year-old girl injured in crossfire in Lugmag Street.

Police managed to arrest a suspect and seize two firearms shortly afterwards. The Reaction Unit was brought in so that the area could be stabilised and to prevent further shootings.

According to police reports, a petrol station in 5th Avenue became the scene of a gruesome murder and two attempted murders on Tuesday 14 August at 19:25.

Police also reported that they had opened two attempted murder dockets following shooting incidents in Factreton on Saturday 11 August at 02:30. Shots were fired at a house and police found 10 cartridges on the scene. No-one was injured. At around the same time another shooting incident was reported in Typhoon Street, also in Factreton. Shots were fired at a house and a man hit in head. He was taken by ambulance to Groote Schuur Hospital. Police reported both incidents were gang related.

Meanwhile, two men, one aged 35 and another 42, were fatally wounded and a 32-year-old injured when an unidentified vehicle drove past a garage and opened fire at the three victims. The shooting was directed at a “known drug dealer” who was being assisted by the deceased and injured men to tow his vehicle from the garage, say police. The motive is gang related. No arrests have been made thus far.

Leaders of the local community policing forum (CPF) announced earlier that they are planning a march for justice, peace and more police on Sunday 9 September and called on local residents to join in.

“We appeal to all residents to join the solidarity march when we take to the streets to show our firm commitment to restoring the safety and security of our community and intensify our call for efficient and effective policing,” said Kensington CPF spokesperson, Zainulabideen van der Schyff.

The march will start at 14:00 at the corner of Lugmag and Sunderland streets.

The locals are planning to reiterate their call for resources to reinforce the limited police capacity to fight crime effectively. “The Kensington CPF once again strengthens our demand to Saps and all sectors of government to provide our area with the necessary and much-needed resources so that violence of all sorts may stop and our community can stop living in fear,” says Van der Schyff.

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