Emotions ran high for a Wentworth, Durban, mother on Wednesday when she opened up to provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula about how both her sons were killed in the area after receiving threats from a local drug lord.
While visiting the station following a drive-by shooting on Tuesday night that left three people critically injured, Jula was met by a small group of residents, including Arlene Glover.
Glover said her 26-year-old son, Evan, was shot and killed on September 21, while Yul Christian, 39, met the same fate on November 10.
She alleged both her sons had been threatened before they were killed.
Glover said she was made to file an affidavit, but the police never approached or dealt with the perpetrators.
“I am so angry. Both my children had been threatened. I think the police should take threats seriously because both my children are dead [following] threats. The drug lords are selling drugs like it is legal. They walk with their guns in front of the police. They are taking bribes. How do we live in this area now?
“You turn to the police, then they tell the gangsters you complained. The whole of Wentworth is angry. We are crying out. Wentworth is crying. It is one thing after another. We have children looking at all this. Our children already know about guns.”
Another resident, community activist Justin Titus, said the police were also slow in responding to crime.
“There is an issue of the police who arrive late in areas they’ve been called out to. We need new solutions. What are you putting in place that will stop it permanently?”
Responding, Jula said not all police officers could be painted with the same brush. He added that short, medium- and long-term plans would be put in place to curb the rampant shootings.
“We are putting measures in place that are going to ensure there are rapid response teams. This is part of our turnaround strategy.”
He added he would target known drug dealers.
“We are aware of acts of gangsterism. We are aware that it is emerging in different areas.”
Jula said socio-economic issues within the community also needed to be addressed.