From the news desk

Residents, MEC welcome swift Ocean View arrests

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Police have now made six arrests in relation to a series of shocking murders in Ocean View; days after a family of three were shot and killed in their home during the early hours of Saturday morning. According to reports, the incident brought the number of killings in the area to seven within the space of a week. It is believed that the suspects are all affiliated to gangs within the area.

Chairperson of the Ocean View Community Policing Forum (CPF), Kathy Cronje says the area has been hit hard by “increased brutality” as far as gang violence is concerned, linking the killings to a possible gang turf war.

“They seem to be getting very serious, but the problem is that they keep on getting innocent victims,” she states.

While the CPF has called for increased police visibility over the coming festive season, Cronje notes that there has been a “transformation” in the area that will hopefully better address the raging violence. This has included the introduction of a new police station in neighbouring Masiphumelele, as well as the re-staffing of the Ocean View station.

“In Ocean View alone there is round about 25 000-30 000 people and in Masiphumelele we have about 40 000 people. So we just couldn’t cope. We also seriously upgraded the police station in Ocean View and put a lot more staff in there, because they were about 30% staffed,” she explains.

She has attributed these improvements with the swift apprehension of the alleged suspects of the recent wave of murders.

Imam Abdul Ghakiem Raban, officiating imam at Ocean View masjid has however questioned suggestions of a turf war between rival gangs, noting that while gangs are present in the area there are no signs of a visible conflict.

“To my knowledge they move all around. It is not like you witness in other areas where people are shooting across one another. What has happened is that these were all cold-blooded murders, where people walk up to the person and shot them cold-bloodedly,” he notes.

Raban admits the recent incidents have left an air of tension amongst the community, particularly since none of those killed have had any clear gang affiliation. However, this has not affected resident’s freedom of movement.

“In some areas you can’t even walk to the mosque or church. Here in Ocean View you can still walk up to the masjid and we haven’t seen attendance dropping because people fear they might get shot,” he adds.

On Tuesday, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato welcomed the swift action from the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Ocean View area.

“I wish to congratulate the SAPS for their dedication to seeing justice served. Detectives have worked hard to find those allegedly responsible for the heinous crimes committed over the last two weeks. These arrests will go some way to providing the families and friends of the victims with some comfort that the crimes will not go unpunished,” he said.

The suspects connected to the various crimes are expected to appear in court this Thursday.

“I trust that the rest of the criminal justice system will ensure that those responsible for the murders undergo swift trials, just convictions and sentencing befitting of the heinous crimes they committed,” said Plato.

He urged the community of Ocean View to support the SAPS in their investigations. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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