Angry Diepsloot residents demand action over kasi murders

Everson Luhanga

In a single night in Diepsloot extension 1, seven people were shot dead while 14 others sustained injuries. 

On Tuesday, community members went to the police station to hand over a memorandum. They later protested by burning tyres demanding police visibility in the troubled township.

Community leader Maki Ramogopa said among the people killed on Saturday was an 11-year-old girl and her mother who were hacked to death.

Ramogopa, 58, said the man in the house sustained serious injuries and is in hospital. 

“We had more than 15 murders in March alone,” she said.

“People go into houses demanding cellphones and money. If they don’t find anything, they kill you. They use guns, knives and pangas.” 

Ramogopa said no one is safe in the township as thugs storm homes and even churches.

A police officer who worked at the station and has since been moved to another station said it is hard to patrol in Diepsloot especially in Extension 1. 

“It is very hard and dangerous for police officers to work there,” he said

“The passages between shacks are narrow and you can’t drive. And even if you drive in you can’t turn. You have to reverse to get out.”

Another community leader, Tshepo Manabile, said the police minister promised to bring a tactical response team (TRT) to the area after a previous killing spree. 

“We haven’t seen any of the tactical response team officers on the ground. All we see is one or two vans patrolling,” he said. 

Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Brenda Muridili said new recruits were not taken into the SAPS due to Covid-19, which made it hard to deploy new units to the area.

She said residents made a call for more police resources in Diepsloot two years ago.

“After the SAPS management met with the community there were some changes, so the TRT were deployed there for several months and the area was stabilised up until now,” Muridili said.

She said both the minister of police and the new police Commissioner will visit Diepsloot on Wednesday.