WATCH | ‘While you’re watching TV your neighbours are gunned down’
Khayelitsha residents fear extortion and murder
Khayelitsha has joined Delft and Manenberg in the top three areas falling victim to mass shootings, leaving residents wondering if they can remain in the area.
Since March, there have been at least four mass shootings in the area, leaving residents worried about gangs and an apparent extortion racket fueling the shootings.
On May 23 the area was rocked by the fatal shooting of three siblings while a fourth family member had gone shopping.
“I am the last sibling remaining. I lost all my siblings in one day,” the woman who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal told TimesLIVE.
Another family member said the family was considering relocating.
“We’re not scared, we are terrified. We are gradually coming to the conclusion about leaving here,” said one relative.
Site C resident Zonke Bhobhozayo recently lost her brother, Mthokozisi Mhlakazo, in the violent shooting.
“We are traumatised. It is so painful because he was never involved in the gangs. He was not a criminal. The police fail us as a community,” she said.
Cape Town police seem to be struggling to stem the tide of gang violence and with it mass murders.
Recent statistics show 164 people were killed in mass shootings across the province in 2020 and 187 in 2021.
Police attribute most incidents to gang crime, with a new trend of extortion.
Khayelitsha Development Foundation chairperson Ndithini Thyido confirmed gangs are extorting residents and informal traders.
“They [gangsters] used to target Somali shop owners and we kept quiet as community leaders, not that we were in support of that. But when you move from there into people’s homes and say they must pay for their own TV, then you are victimising us,” Tyhido said at a recent community imbizo hosted by religious leaders.
“As Khayelitsha we must reject people being forced to pay protection money when they are going to the bus to work. We must reject the traders being forced to pay money in Town 2,” he told residents.
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