Lavender Hill residents on edge as prominent gang boss set to be buried

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Lavender Hill.
Lavender Hill.
Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • Lavender Hill, Cape Town, residents fear retaliation attacks following the murder of an 11-year-old boy and his 42-year-old father who is believed to have been a gang leader in the area.
  • Cheslin Nelson and his son Jordan Brown were both shot dead inside their Shephard Way home last Friday.
  • Nelson is set to be buried on Sunday.


"Lavender Hill remains volatile and people need to be cautious when moving around the area." 

This is a stern warning by the Steenberg Community Policing Forum, who warned that the situation is likely to reach boiling point on Sunday when the murdered leader of the Fast Gun gang, Cheslin Nelson will be buried, after being shot dead along with his 11-year-old son Jordan Brown.

The pair was killed inside their Shepherd Way home late on Friday afternoon. 

READ | Lavender Hill, Cape Town, on edge after killing of gang leader and his son

Community activist Howard Soetwater said the community remains on high alert following the killings as many fear retaliations.

"We anticipate hundreds of people will show up for Cheslin's funeral. He was well known in the area and I'm sure there are going to be lots of his associates present."

Soetwater said he hoped nothing spiralled out of control and that the community and family could say their farewells in peace.

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On Friday grief-stricken family and friends gathered at the St Paul's church to bid a final farewell to little Brown, who was described as a "very smart boy", who was always smiling.

'Emotional day'

Speaking to News24, Haroldine Harris, 65, described young Brown as a "joy" to be around, and always very respectful to anyone with whom he came into contact.

"They were both lovely people. When we buried Jordan on Friday, we could see how packed the church was. He was a very likable child; the church was so packed that some of the extended family members couldn't get inside and had to listen to the service from outside the church.

She added:

It was a very emotional day; everyone was dealing with their emotions differently.

Harris said Brown's mom was struggling to come to terms with her loss.

"I think she's still in disbelief like many of us because we honestly didn’t expect our lives to turn upside down this quickly," said Harris.

buried
11-year-old Jordan was buried on Friday.

Remembering Brown, Harris said the young boy was a huge car fanatic who would burst out in joy whenever nice cars came driving up the road.

"He was a light in dark times always putting smiles on people's faces. His smile and his energy were infectious. Jordan loved playing sports and played soccer for a local sports club here in the area. He always said his going to do great things with his life and I believe he would've loved to pursue his love for soccer," Harris added.


Harris confirmed Nelson's service will be held on Sunday morning.

She added that while many viewed Nelson as a gangster, she never did.

"Cheslin was well liked amongst the people in the community. To me he wasn't a gangster, he never smoked in front of me and had lots of respect for his family. I am already missing him so much.

Harris added:

What he did for a living was not my business, and I never asked about it. He treated me with lots of respect and would always lend a hand when my pension money was up and I needed assistance during the month.

Watchful eye

Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg said SAPS and other law enforcement will be deployed to the area to keep a watchful eye over the funeral proceedings.

"An operational plan is in place to manage any eventuality that may arise within Lavender Hill and surrounding areas," added Twigg.

Soetwater added the area has been "very quiet" since the attack, which in itself is very "scary" considering that the area is always a hive of activity.

He added:

For now, everything seems to be quiet, but we remain to see what will happen once the funeral is done, and everyone goes back to their daily lives. We can only pray that things will continue to be quiet and calm.

Steenberg CPF chairperson Gavin Walbrugh said in a statement that although there hasn't been any shooting in the area recently, "... the area is tense.

"We have received confirmed and unconfirmed reports of shooting incidents, however, there have been no injuries or fatalities over the last 48 hours that we are aware of.

"We are aware that SAPS is doing surveillance and visible policing in the area and that they are monitoring the situation," he added. 

The Anti-Gang Unit on Monday arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with the murders, he appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court the following day. 

funeral
Cheslin who was the leader of the Fast Gun gang in Lavender Hill will be buried on Sunday.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed that Cole Nel is charged with two counts of murder. 

"The State alleges that on 2 September 2022, Nel visited the residency of Cheslin Nelson and went to the Wendy house in the back. Nelson, his son, and three other men were in the Wendy house. The accused joined the group, and they smoked drugs together. He left, came back, and then went to the toilet. He came out of the toilet with a firearm and fired several shots at the occupants killing Nelson, [and] Brown, [and] shot one victim in the face, back and shoulders," said Ntabazalila.  

The NPA said that the victims and family of the deceased know the accused.

"The accused is charged with two counts of premeditated murder which are also gang related. His case has been postponed to 29 September 2022 for further investigation," added Ntabazalila.


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