Back-to-back mass shootings paralyse Gqeberha township

By Anita Dangazele

After another mass shooting at a house party left four people dead and three more injured, terror has taken hold of the township of Kwazakhele in Gqeberha.

The shooting, in the early hours of Sunday, took place just 1.5 km from the property in which eight people were killed and three wounded two weeks ago.

In Sunday’s shooting, three assailants barged into a Nomjila Street home, where a group of young people between the ages of 20 and 25 were having a party, and opened fire.

According to the police, of the 11 people in the house, three women and one man were killed, while two men and a woman were injured.

In the aftermath, a female survivor stumbled up to a police vehicle on patrol at about 12.45am and told them that she and her friends had been attacked.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the police were investigating four counts of murder and seven of attempted murder.

“The motive for the shooting and the suspects are unknown at this stage. The deceased are between the ages of 20 and 25 and their next of kin are still being traced.”

On Monday, Naidu said not all the victims had been identified.

The aunt of one of the victims was also at a loss as to why they were murdered. She said she was shocked and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to kill her nephew.

She asked not to be named for fear of her safety.

“His parents passed on and he had been living here alone,” she said. “His sister and other family members visited when they could.”

Some neighbours pleaded ignorance of the shooting and others said they had heard about it but were not sure what exactly had happened. Most were too scared to comment.

Just two Sundays ago, in the same township of Kwazakhele, a similar shooting that sent shock waves across the country took place during a house party. Eight people were shot dead and three were wounded.

The perpetrators of that shocking attack are still on the loose.

Provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Nomthetheleli Mene has appealed to Kwazakhele and New Brighton residents to work with the police to help put a stop to the killings.

Mene has urged the residents to come forward and expose those responsible for the killings. “We cannot allow criminals to reign freely in our neighbourhoods, instilling fear in our citizens,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kwazakhele ward councillor Gamalihleli Maqula said the residents are scared.

“Community members are living in fear and can’t be expected to speak up in meetings about information they have when there haven’t been arrests for the previous killings.

“That would be putting them at risk,” he said.

“No-one wants to put a target on their back because we don’t know who is behind this and we don’t know the motive.”

Maqula advised residents to stop having house parties until the perpetrators in both incidents have been arrested.

Pictured above: Police and members of the community outside the Maqanda street home, two weeks ago.

Image source: Anita Dangazele


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