KTC residents are picking up the pieces after unknown boys wreaked havoc in the area, stoning houses and cars on Wednesday September 28, leaving many homes without window panes and cars with broken windows. It is alleged a group of six boys went on the rampage around 10pm, shouting and leaving a trail of destruction. While no one was injured, residents are feeling rattled by the incident.
Pensioner Marhadebe Mayekiso says she was fast asleep when she heard the sound of shattering glass. When she went outside to investigate, there was no one, but the house was badly damaged. “To my surprise, it was not only my house that was stoned. I spent that night shaking,” she said.
When Vukani visited the area on Friday September 30, a number of homes were damaged. Even though the incident happened a day ago, people were still visibly shaken and many refused to speak openly to Vukani for fear of victimisation.
Ms Mayekiso took aim at the justice system, saying: “We are victims of our own making. We cannot discipline (our children) or we face jail. They do not stay in jail because they are minors or get bail too easily. Hence the anarchy,” she said.
Ms Mayekiso said lawlessness was common in the area
“We have experienced bad things here. This is Sodom and Gomorrah. At some stage we could not stay in our houses or walk outside. We feared rape right inside our homes and we feared rape by walking on the streets. At some point we tried to help another senior citizen who was raped in her house, bu when we shouted at them, they shouted back saying ‘bring them too’. We had to run for our own safety. This is daily life here,” she said.
Another senior citizen, who refused to be named,, vowed to retaliate one day.
He called on people to “wake up and smell the coffee”. “This is war. These boys have declared war on us but we are still quiet about it. It is about time that we defend ourselves. If police cannot defend us, we should or face death. We cannot be held to ransom by few individuals, laaities. It should not happen,” he said.
Local leaders admitted that people lived in fear.
A member of the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO) agreed that the situation was bad. “We would not want our names in the newspapers for this might affect not only us but our children too. But I can confirm that Mbewana, Saba, Siwa, Naude, Mzamka, and Gawulethetha streets and many others, people there lost their window panes and car windows.
“It was a terrible situation,” she said.
Ward councillor Khaya Yozi urged affected people to report the matter to the police. “We can not be chasing shadows. Most people know who the people behind this are. Parents need to be honest and stop encouraging these acts,” he said.
He added that residents were coming together to form a neighbourhood watch to patrol Hlazo Village, KTC and Lusaka.
Gugulethu police spokesman Captain Elliot Singanyana called on people whose houses and cars were damaged to report to the police who would investigate cases of malicious damage to property..