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Court postpones murder case against Mitchells Plain gangsters due to a busted recorder

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By Tauhierah Salie

The case against two alleged gangsters accused of murdering a Mitchells Plain teenager was postponed on Wednesday- due to a faulty recorder.

Tashreeq Damonse and Taariq Herman appeared in the Mitchell’s Plain magistrate court for the murder of Riedwaan Boltman. Outside, fellow Oval North Secondary School students and community members braced the wind to chant slogans such as “Justice for Waanie” and “No bail for the Killers” outside court.

The 15-year-old was killed in a hail of bullets in Beacon Valley on the 23rd May last year, suffering multiple gunshot wounds, to the body and head. He was among several youth caught in gang crossfire at the time.  A few weeks prior, five teenagers were shot in a drive-by in the same area. Two of the victims, aged 13 and 18 were fatally struck, while three others aged 14, 16 and 18, were wounded.

Speaking outside of court, his father, Ebrahim, says the matter was postponed given that no record of court proceedings could be kept. Ebrahim explained that his hope for the case is for justice to be served- if not for his child, then others.

His grieving cousin, Yaseen, says the young man deserved a better ending. He spoke to how well-mannered Boltman was, emphasizing that he was not involved in the gang lifestyle. The 25-year-old considers the prison as a safe haven for connected criminals. Yaseen said that the frustration leading up to Wednesday’s court appearance has been building up. He says his anger toward the suspects makes him feel as if he could take the law into his own hands.

Standing alongside the road, middle aged neighbour Joy, held in her hands a flip file of signed pages, demanding that the perpetrators remain behind bars.  She says the suspects do not deserve freedom and raised concerns about which innocent child could be next.

A teary-eyed friend explained that Riedewaan was a dedicated student of deen. She said he loved his Quran and was passionate about boiler making. She appealed for faith in the criminal justice system to be restored.

As cars hooted in support of the demonstration, pensioner Ms Glenda, explained that gangsters murder regularly, without any consequence. Her company echoed the sentiment and stated that communities are fed up with having to live in fear.

During a visit to seven schools in the Cape metro this week, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education identified gangsterism and criminality as a major cause for concern. Committee Chairperson, Ms Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba appealed to Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and SAPS, together with communities, to assist in making schools safer.

Affected communities have long called for action from government. Sadly, plans to definitively tackle gangsterism in the province are yet to materialize.

Boltman said the case has since been transferred to the Cape Town High court “based on its severity” and is expected to be heard on the 23rd of February 2022.

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