Two killed, including 15-year-old, in suspected gang violence in Westbury

2019-06-29 18:45
Anti-Gang Unit (Jenni Evans, News24)

Anti-Gang Unit (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Gang-related battles in Westbury have claimed another two lives in the volatile Johannesburg suburb this week.

The surge in gang-related violence across South Africa recently prompted Police Minister Bheki Cele to roll out the Anti-Gang Unit countrywide. 

Cele announced this week that the AGU had been elevated to a national level, because "gangsterism is spreading across" the country.

He made this announcement in Parliament during the State of the Nation debate this week, a day after a community activist had raised concerns that the unit had been operating without a proper budget. 

In Westbury on Thursday night a man was shot and killed during what residents described as a gang war between three rival groupings - the Varados, Fast Guns and newly established Disciples gang.

Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said at about 19:30, the victim was at Dowling Street in Westbury when he was approached by a gunman who fired a shot at him.

"The victim was taken to hospital where he was certified dead on arrival. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage and police have opened a case of murder for investigation," he said.

No arrests have been made in this case.

Then on Friday evening, a 15-year-old was allegedly shot dead at a block of flats in Claremont, Westbury.

A suspect is expected to appear in court sooon in connection with the teenager's death on charges of murder and possession of unlicensed firearm, while the other suspect linked to the gun is expected in court on charges of illegal possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Masondo said police are investigating if the two murders are gang-related.

READ: Warrant of arrest issued for cop allegedly linked to two Westbury gangs

While News24 was in the area on Saturday, three armed men exchanged fire at a block of flats in Newclare, Westbury. 

Community leader Shaheim Ismail said the two armed men who are known allegedly chased after another armed men seeking revenge for the death of the man who was killed on Thursday night along Dowling Street.

The deceased was believed to be a member of the Varados gang.

Residents, especially relatives of the deceased, refused to speak to News24 fearing for their lives. 

Read more on:    westbury  |  gangsterism
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