Shootings rattle the community

2019-11-19 06:01
A pile of clothing, bedding and mattresses accompany three red cones in the front yard of a Portlands home where four people were shot and killed last week.PHOTO: Samantha lee-Jacobs

A pile of clothing, bedding and mattresses accompany three red cones in the front yard of a Portlands home where four people were shot and killed last week.PHOTO: Samantha lee-Jacobs

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Fear that a recent shooting marks the invasion of gang elements in PortlandsPP Mitchell’s Plain gives preference to Portlands and not Portland has been expressed by residents who say they are shaken by the murders.

Four people, a woman and three men, were shot and killed at a Hazeldene Avenue home in the early hours of Tuesday 12 November.

The victims were aged between 30 and 32.

Following the incident, officers attached to the Police’s Anti Gang Unit along with crime scene experts were deployed to comb the scene for clues that would assist in the solving of the crime, says Western Cape police spokesperson, Brig. Novela Potelwa.

“Reports at the disposal of police indicate that the victims were in a house in Hazeldene Avenue in Portlands when a vehicle with occupants pulled up and three suspects got into the premises and fired multiple shots before they fled,” says Potelwa. “Investigations by detectives are looking into all possibilities including indications this could be gang-related.”

Residents say they are afraid to leave their front yards as a result of the shooting.

“I have never heard of anything like this happening here and I have lived here for more than 20 years,” says a woman.

“Portlands is a quiet area. We all know about this house but it was people we knew who slept there and did their drugs. They did not bother anyone and the house is not in a state from the outside as many of these other drug houses in other areas,” says another resident.

Residents were reluctant to speak to People’s Post, unless guaranteed anonymity.

The woman says they were shocked to hear of the murders and at the wide-spread media coverage it had received.

“I am very worried about children in this area. We don’t want to see this become another gang-ridden area where we cannot walk outside,” she says.

“We have robberies and small crimes like car break-ins but not murder,” the man says.

Cecil Libbe, chair of the Community Policing Forum Subforum for Portlands, says the only other shooting incident he can recall happened about two years ago in Miami Way.

“This is not normal and it comes as a great shock to the community of Portlands. People are not used to shootings like some other areas. There is a fear that gang elements from Westridge and other areas will move into the area and that this will become a gang-ridden area,” says Libbe.

He agrees that petty crimes take place and that serious crimes are not common.

Libbe confirms the house was known as a drug house where users would frequent.

“We would visit this house on many occasions as part of our sweeps in the community. This incident is so sad,” says Libbe.

“Many of the problem houses that we have in Portlands is because parents pass away without a will and testament. These are good families,” he says.

Libbe says the woman who was shot is from the area and known in the community. The three men are believed to be from the Westridge area.

Libbe pleads with residents to assist the subforum in taking a stand and keeping crime at bay.

“Our humble plea to residents is that they join the safety structures. If we have six people in one street we can win the battle against crime,” he says.

The house is now empty with a pile of clothing, bedding and mattresses removed from the home in a pile in the front yard.

Plans to further convert the home are in place to make something “positive of what has happened”, Libbe says.

No arrests have been made. V Anyone with information on the incident is urged to call investigating officer WO John Bruce Van Staden on 071 313 8147 or the Anti Gang Unit hotline on 0800 664 264.

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