Deny bail to dangerous criminals, residents say after tavern killing

2018-09-27 15:54
Residents of Khayamnandi township in Despatch have protested about what they say is a rise in crime in their area. (Joseph Chirume, GroundUp)

Residents of Khayamnandi township in Despatch have protested about what they say is a rise in crime in their area. (Joseph Chirume, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

About 30 residents of Despatch in the Eastern Cape protested on Wednesday outside the Uitenhage Magistrate's Court, demanding action against what they say is an increase in armed robberies and murders in their area, GroundUp reports.

The residents, all of them from Khayamnandi, protested outside the court where a man was appearing, accused of killing a patron at a local tavern on Sunday night.

The accused and other suspects then robbed the tavern of money and beer. The money and beer and a gun thought to have been used in the crime were recovered by police after the suspect was cornered by residents and the police.

Three other suspects are still at large.

The protesters said they wanted the courts to deny bail to dangerous criminals.

One of the protesters, Nombuzo Booysen, said there had been several cases of armed robbery at the tavern.

"Most of these criminals are people who come and spend time in the area either drinking in taverns or driving around. They then rob businesses and individuals."

She said the community wanted police to increase visible patrols in the area.

'Our streets used to be very vibrant'

Another resident, Zolani Khohlakala, said: "I was terrified when I heard gunshots and came out of the house to investigate, only to stumble on the gun lying close to my toilet. It was a very dangerous situation because the police were busy chasing the armed gang. There was shooting all over.

"We need to do something quickly to maintain peace and safety in our community. Our streets used to be very vibrant, but people now stay indoors fearing to venture outside," he said.

ANC branch secretary for Ward 41 Thobekile Lawu said there had also been an upsurge in stock theft.

"The criminals are terrorising isolated communities that rear cattle and goats. We have received numerous reports where livestock have been shot and the carcass loaded onto vehicles," Lawu said.

He said residents were not co-operating with the community policing forum desk at Despatch police station because there were no stipends.

Lawu said: "Residents are reluctant to get involved, saying the project has no incentives. Many residents are not working and spend their time doing piece jobs to earn a living."

He said richer parts of Despatch had security companies patrolling their streets. "I suspect that criminals are running away from these areas and are now targeting townships where security is very lax."

Police spokesperson Captain Gerda Swart confirmed that the search for three other men was continuing.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.