Police must patrol here every day, say Cape Town residents after woman's body found on open field

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A body of a female was found in Belhar, Cape Town. (Photo: SAPS)
A body of a female was found in Belhar, Cape Town. (Photo: SAPS)
  • It has been a bloody few days in Cape Town, starting on Sunday when four men were killed, and five others injured in Khayelitsha,
  • On Friday, a woman's body was found on an open field in Belhar.
  • The police have since arrested two people in connection with the killings. 

Residents of Belhar in Cape Town are up in arms after an unknown woman's body was found over the weekend. 

"Police must patrol the area every day, not just when they want to," they said.

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the woman's body was found on an open field behind Oasis School in Erica Drive on Friday.

"Members were dispatched to the scene after being informed by passers-by. The body was discovered with a stab wound to the neck. She was declared dead by paramedics on the scene," added Van Wyk.

He said an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death, a murder case was being investigated, and no arrests have been made yet.

READ | How men linked to AKA’s murder were arrested – 1 600km from Durban crime scene

The recent discovery of the woman's body comes just days after a man's body was found on the corner of Symphony Way and Erica Drive on 2 March.

"Upon arrival at the scene, [police] found the body of a 49-year-old male. The victim was declared deceased on the scene by medical personnel.

"The unknown suspect/s fled the scene and are yet to be arrested. The motive for the attack is believed to be gang-related," said Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi. 

Van Wyk added the circumstances surrounding a girl, 16, who was shot and wounded on the corner of Vergelegen and Somerset streets in Belhar were still being investigated. 

"Police were called to the crime scene, where they found the victim with a gunshot wound to the chest.

"The victim was taken to a medical facility for treatment. The unknown suspects are yet to be arrested. An attempted murder case was registered for investigation," he said.

Now, residents want the police to start patrolling the area daily to prevent the ongoing "dumping of bodies".

"Police are seen driving around in the area only once a week, which is not enough. They must patrol here every day. Bodies are being dumped in random places here, and nothing is getting done about it.

"We are living in fear because we don't know what is happening here that bodies are just being dumped, that could be someone's family member," said a resident who did not want to be named. 

Another concerned Capetonian, Mark Embassy, took to Facebook to voice his concerns about crime.

He posted:

Crime is getting higher and higher in Cape Town. Kids as young as 16 are getting guns quickly, illegally while legal guns are a process to get, but it shows you that in Cape Town gangs run our city.

Western Cape Community Safety and Police Oversight MEC Reagen Allen denounced the recent murders in the province.

Allen said it was concerning a woman's body was discovered close to where the new police station was set to be built. 

"This station cannot come soon enough. Belhar urgently requires another station, as its current police-to-population ratio is one officer for every 1 016 residents.

"In addition to this, it also on the province's list of top 30 murder stations, while gang violence is also prominent in the area," he added.

Last week, the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee (Mayco) approved the transfer of land to the national government for the construction of an additional police station in Belhar. 

The Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the matter was awaiting final approval from the full council.

How safe is your neighbourhood? Find out by using News24's CrimeCheck

"A purchase price of R4 950 000, excluding VAT, and being 25% of the full market value of R19 800 000, is payable.

"This discounted [25%] sale of land to the national government to enable them to build a new Belhar police station demonstrates the willingness of the City to support a cooperative approach to policing," Smith added.

Meanwhile, two men were arrested in connection with a mass murder in Khayelitsha at the weekend.

The men, aged 22 and 30, were arrested after four men were shot dead in Y Block in the early hours of Sunday.

Five other men, aged between 23 and 39, were injured.

The victims were travelling in a light delivery vehicle at the time.

READ | Cape Town Mayco approves transfer of land to national government for another Belhar police station

Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said the murder was believed to be a "retaliation attack after a hijacking earlier in the area".

He added one of the injured men, who had been admitted to hospital after the shooting, had since been arrested in connection with the hijacking.

"While the circumstances surrounding the matter are still under investigation, our detectives are in pursuit of more suspects who were possibly involved in the incident," said Traut.

Three firearms were recovered.

"Once charged, the detained suspects are expected to make their court appearances in Khayelitsha, where two will face four charges of murder, five charges of attempted murder and the possession of unlicensed firearms, while the third suspect will face a charge of vehicle hijacking," he added. 

Allen commended the police for swiftly arresting people in connection with the mass murder in Khayelitsha.

"Not only is it deeply concerning, but it is gut-wrenching to week-in-and-week-out hear about bodies being found in an inhumane manner. No person should just have their remains left exposed.

"Criminals should know by now that they do not have any place to hide, and we will continue to exert pressure on them.

He said:

If they choose a life of criminality, they should always expect to be uncomfortable. No murder, particularly as it is alleged, in this instance, to be a retaliation murder, can be justified.

According to him, murders in the Khayelitsha area showed an 11.11% decrease during the third quarter of the 2022/23 financial year.

"In previous times, there were a number of mass murders that occurred in the area; however, during this same period, one incident each, where three people were killed, were reported in the Harare and Khayelitsha [Site B] stations.

"This is partly due to the increased visibility and collaboration between SAPS and Law Enforcement Advancement Plan officers," Allen added.

The police are urging anyone with information on the murders to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111. 

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