Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
6 Jun 2019
6:06 am

NPA frets over safety after gang fight at court

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court turned into factional turf yesterday.

The Johannesburg Magistrates' Court. Photo: File, Belinda Pheto

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is concerned about the threat posed to members of the public after suspected rival gang members, who arrived to support their leaders, broke out in a violent altercation at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Keenan Ebrahim, known in the Westbury community in Johannesburg as one of the leaders of the Fast Guns, was due to appear on a count of murder yesterday in connection with the death of a 45-year-old woman who was caught in the crossfire of an alleged gang shooting.

Appearing in court yesterday in connection with a separate murder charge, Leroy Brown apparently belonged to a rival gang called the Varaldos.

It is believed that the supporters of these gangs were among several people arrested by police in the court building after the fight broke out.

Community members from the crime-ridden suburb of Westbury arrived in numbers to attend the two court cases.

Westbury was rife with violent protests last year under the banner of the Shut Down Movement, which called for marginalised communities to unite to force government to intervene in gang violence and other socioeconomic challenges faced by so-called coloured townships.

NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the body was concerned about safety at the courthouse.

“I leave the matters of security in the capable hands of the department of justice,” she said of the gang fight. “Of course, the NPA is concerned if the safety of members of the public is threatened and we also know that the department of justice will swiftly deal with it,” said Mjonondwane.

Brown was arrested earlier this week in connection with the murder of a man believed to be a member of the Fast Guns. His case was postponed to tomorrow for the bail hearing.

– simnikiweh@citizen.co.za

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