News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
18 Sep 2019
9:18 pm

You can’t be killing 10-year-olds – Cele on Cape Town massacre that claimed 3 kids

News24 Wire

'We must find and formulate ways of prevention so that people can be safe. We must not always react,' the police minister said.

Police Minister Bheki Cele speaks to residents of Philippi East, 8 July 2019. Picture: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA)

The teenager gunned down in a shooting that also claimed the lives of three children at a house in Elsies River was allegedly affiliated to a gang, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, two gunmen forced their way into a wendy house in Northmead Court, Clarke Estate, and opened fire, killing the 19-year-old man, two 12-year-old boys and a girl, 10.

Two people have been arrested for the murders, as well as the attempted murder of two women, believed to be the children’s mothers. Both were shot and sustained serious injuries.

Fritz said after the suspects had fled the scene, the wounded women sought help at an adjoining block of flats where they were cared for until an ambulance arrived to take them to hospital.

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. I further wish a speedy recovery to those injured during the shooting. Violence has no place in our society,” he added.

Police Minister Bheki Cele commended the officers who apprehended the two suspects within hours of the massacre.

“They have done a good job. They even found the murder weapon, which means we have a strong case,” he said.

“But that doesn’t help… We must find and formulate ways of prevention so that people can be safe. We must not always react.

“This nonsensical kind of thing where you go [and shoot] – whether you have a gangster in the house or no gangsters – you can’t be killing 10-year-olds. We need to prevent rather than react. It should be best that these things don’t happen [in the first place].”

Fritz said the extension of the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) deployment to the Cape Flats should “ensure that joint operations between the SAPS, metro police, law enforcement and other security agencies work together to identify, track down and remove gang leaderships within communities”.

“When we fail to combine our resources as state institutions and communities, gang leaders are not convicted for their crimes and walk freely among the innocent and vulnerable.”

On Monday, the Presidency announced President Cyril Ramaphosa had extended the SANDF’s stay until March 31, 2020. The original two-month deployment was meant to end on Monday.

The army was originally deployed to help in joint operations with the police in 10 areas with the highest attempted murder rates – Elsies River, Bishop Lavis, Mitchells Plain, Delft, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Philippi, Kraaifontein and Manenberg.

Cele said the results the army’s deployment had yielded should “tell the nation that they are supposed to be here”.

The initial two-month deployment was too short, he added.

“Six months is much better. We will definitely make a difference.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.