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Khayelitsha community reels from surge in violent crime, CPF calls for proactive action

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

Khayelitsha Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson Monde Bambelo has expressed concern over the recent surge in crime in Site C. Two suspects have been charged with the murders of a 30-year-old man and three children in Khayelitsha, as well as nine attempted murder charges. This follows an incident where unknown gunmen entered a barbershop and opened fire on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking on the community’s reaction to the mass shooting, Bambelo said, “It is a sad scene; the community is saddened, shocked, and in disbelief. We don’t know what triggered this incident. The fact that those suspects have been arrested gives a bit of relief. However, it does not change our mood.”

Bambelo highlighted the frequency of such incidents in the community. “There are always shootings, particularly in Site C. For the past two weeks, there have been shootings almost every day, including double murders and daily murders. We even lost one of our Neighbourhood Watch members who was gunned down at her home.”

He added, “These types of murders have become a norm for us. It is also worrisome because it seems like no one cares, and there is no proactive approach to crime in these communities.”

In response, Bambelo emphasized the role of the community in tackling crime. “As Khayelitsha CPF, we conduct oversight, including spatial oversight, to assess personnel and reservists at the station. We realize that the community also has a role to play.”

“Gone are the days when we relied solely on the South African Police Services (SAPS). We plead with the community to take action. Let us gather together, hold imbizos, strategize, and be proactive in preventing these types of crimes,” Bambelo urged.

Western Cape MEC of Community Safety and Police Oversight, Reagen Allen, commented on addressing the root causes of these mass shootings. “I’ve been clear with the SAPS that we need to ensure no motive is off the table. This means not automatically attributing the Khayelitsha incident to extortion. We’ve seen various matters interlinked, and once the investigation is concluded, detectives will have a better understanding of the extortion-related and gang-related aspects.”

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