Teenager shot dead in Westbury as violence erupts after murder of alleged gang leader

27 February 2023 - 18:02
By Belinda Pheto
A teenager was shot dead on Monday in Westbury, Johannesburg, where retaliation attacks are ongoing after the murder of an alleged gang leader. File image.
Image: Veli Nhlapo A teenager was shot dead on Monday in Westbury, Johannesburg, where retaliation attacks are ongoing after the murder of an alleged gang leader. File image.

A 14-year-old boy was one of two people who died in a spate of shootings in Westbury, Johannesburg, in what community members believe is retaliation attacks after the murder of an alleged gang leader. 

The alleged leader of the Fast Guns gang, Keenan Ebrahim, was shot dead on Thursday in Constantia Kloof. . 

Details surrounding the shooting of the 14-year-old remain sketchy but community members TimesLIVE spoke to say the boy was hit by a stray bullet while walking in the street.

“We've been unable to leave our homes since Thursday because bullets are flying everywhere. The gang is angry about the murder of their leader and I think they want to show the other gangs they are still in control even when their leader is killed,” a resident said. 

Another resident said the situation was tense since Ebrahim's murder. 

“We don't have peace since Keenan's murder. Even in his death he still manages to terrorise us. I wish I had a choice and means to move somewhere because this is not how life is supposed to be.” . 

Tensions are high in Westbury and surrounding areas.

On Saturday, City Power announced it was withdrawing services in the area due to increasing violence. 

Sophiatown police station commander Brig Alfred Ndebele on Monday told reporters police are on high alert and doing their best to restore calm. 

Ndebele said police recover 12 unlicensed firearm in the area in February, 

Police and metro police were on the ground and working together to restore peace. 

But residents of Westbury have little hope the police will bring change, with some saying the latest shooting happened while police units were in the area. 

Ndebele said: “Members can't be everywhere. Like today's [Monday] incident, within a minute, they were at the scene.”

The problem was community members who have potential leads were reluctant to come forward and give statements to police. 

Earlier, TimesLIVE spoke to councillors in the area, all of whom declined to comment for fear of their safety. 

“We appeal to the community to come forward as witnesses. If they don't trust my police officers they can call the provincial office, where there is an anti-gang unit,” Ndebele said. 

He would not be drawn on speculation about the reason for the shootings.

“I can't conform if this is retaliation attacks but our crime intelligence [unit] is working on that.”

TimesLIVE

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