By Zaahidah Meyer
The City of Cape Town has commended SAPS for their quick action in arresting a suspect in connection with Monday’s fatal shooting at the Eastridge Clinic. A 23-year-old man was shot several times in full view of other patients and staff at the clinic on Monday. Western Cape police confirmed that a 20 year old suspect was arrested and is expected to appear in court soon. The City’s Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith said it appears as if the incident was gang-related.
“This is cold comfort to the victim’s family and the staff and patients who were left traumatized by the incident, but we hope that it will serve as a warning to others who think that they can act with impunity and put the lives of innocent people at risk,” said Smith.
“The City calls on the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to lobby for the strongest possible sentence when this matter goes to court.”
Mitchel’ls Plain Community Police Forum chairperson Abie Isaacs expressed concern that the murder had taken place in a health facility. Isaacs has called for more police visibility, particularly in areas such as Beacon Valley, Eastridge and Tafelsig where gang violence has intensified.
The Eastridge Clinic in Mitchells Plain has resumed work as normal on Tuesday, after closing the clinic after the shooting. Additional staff has been brought in to assist while the regular staff at the clinic are receiving trauma counselling. Smith explained that there were security guards stationed at the clinic and that there are panic buttons for law enforcement. He further added that a full internal investigation has been launched in order to understand what the circumstances were and as he is concerned as to where the security guards were at the time of the incident.
Questions were raised as to whether there is any surveillance at Eastridge Clinic and clinics in surrounding areas. Smith informed that there are CCTV cameras in some clinics and they were in the process of expanding. Money has been allocated to improve security at clinics in the area.
An ‘appointment’ system has been started wherein people no longer have to queue at clinics but could now simply book an appointment. This could be a great help to those who don’t have the time to spend waiting in queues.
“A whole series of investments and improvements are being made to the clinics and the security cameras are a part of that,” Smith said. VOC