Shocking school shooting: Ennerdale not a crime hotspot, say residents
Residents of Ennerdale south of Johannesburg say they are not a violent community and that the shocking case of a father who allegedly mistakenly killed his own son outside a school should be treated as an isolated occurrence.
TimesLIVE visited Ennerdale‚ Extension 1‚ on Thursday. The suburb is quiet and everyone is welcoming. Real estate listings show purchase prices ranging from about R400‚000 to R1-million for residential properties in the area‚ which are mostly family houses with decent sized gardens.
At the school where the shooting incident happened on Tuesday night‚ residents were walking about the area freely. Some were still in their nightdress‚ well after midday.
Without knowing the circumstances of the shooting‚ or prejudging the case‚ residents told TimesLIVE they felt the incident was not a true reflection of the area.
"Only the father‚ his late son and God Himself know what actually happened. Our area is very peaceful. We do have normal crimes of naughty children - break-ins and the use of drugs. But normally it is a normal‚ peaceful area‚” said Denzel Sauls‚ one of the residents.
"This is an unusual‚ isolated incident.”
The schoolboy‚ aged 16‚ was fatally shot after attending night classes. His stepmother said her husband fell asleep in the car while waiting for his son and panicked when he heard someone knocking on the window‚ at about 8pm on Tuesday night.
The 50-year-old father allegedly panicked‚ pulled out his gun and shot his son in the chest. He was due to appear in court on Thursday.
The family's identities are being withheld for now by TimesLIVE‚ for legal reasons.
Sauls said the area around the school was not well lit.
“I think the school must relook the classes at night. Around the school it is very dark at night and lights are not working. Night classes must stop because parents have to go fetch their children from the school at night‚" he said.
Kurt Koen‚ who runs a food outlet next to the school‚ echoed Saul's view about Ennerdale being a peaceful area.
"The community looks after each other here. Hijacking of cars here hardly ever happens. We only have petty crimes like stealing of lights and house breaking‚" said Koen.
The Institute for Security Studies’ data shows a dramatic improvement in community safety in Ennerdale‚ with total “contact crimes” having dropped from 1‚538 cases in 2004 to 935 last year.
However‚ murders are increasing in frequency. CrimeStatsSA.com reveals that there were 29 murders in 2008‚ which increased to 53 last year. There were 359 home burglaries last year‚ little changed over the same period. But cases of drug-related crimes have shot up from 59 to 810 between 2008 and 2017‚ said CrimeStatsSA's data.
Sibusiso Tshabalala, the father who allegedly accidentally shot and killed his teenage son outside a school in Johannesburg, appeared at the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court on June 7 2018. Tshabalala was released on warning, without having to pay bail.