Killing fields of LA

Residents gathered at the bushy area while police investigated the scene.

An overgrown bush of reeds near the Los Angeles informal settlement in Driftsands has been pointed out as a dumping site for dead bodies and stolen cars.

Residents are concerned about the safety of children and others who have to pass the bush after yet another decomposing corpse was discovered on Thursday August 4.

Residents believe the man was killed and dumped there because he was unknown to the community.

The body was discovered by resident Nomhle Klanisi who was on her way home after returning from the shop. Ms Klanisi lives near the bush.

She said on the day of the gruesome discovery, she went to buy a few items at a local spaza shop but noticed nothing. On her way back, as she was passing the scene, she saw something lying there.

“Maybe when I was going to the shop I did not take notice but when I came back, I was dodging water and here I was near the dead body of a man. I screamed and called out to people,” she said.

She said residents notified the police. When Vukani arrived, the area was cordoned off.

Angry residents said they are not only concerned about their safety but also the foul smell from the bush. They said they had meetings with the City of Cape Town including mayor Patricia de Lille who has promised to investigate the matter. Residents, however, claim nothing has been done.

Community leader Ndamthini Mtyebi said in the past six months there have been bizarre incidents of dead bodies thrown in the bush. He said in November last year a man was found dead there.

“In the beginning of July the body of a dead girl was also found. She was raped and killed. A white woman was recently found tied here after she was hijacked in Kuils River. These reeds are a concern to us,” he said.

He appealed to the City of Cape Town to do something about it.

Another concerned resident Aaron Tibane suspects there might be many more bodies dumped in the bush.

“The body that has been discovered today is stinking, that says it has been here for some time now. Clearly there are other bodies in there,” he said.

Mfuleni police spokesman, Captain Nomathemba Muavha, confirmed that an unknown man in his early 40s was found dead in the reeds. She said the deceased was wearing a black top, pants and black ankle boots.

Captain Muavha said the cause of death was unknown and no physical injuries were evident.

Priya Reddy, the City of Cape Town’s spokesperson said the City was aware of the residents’ concerns regarding the removal of the reeds and therefore had been in discussions with Cape Nature, as there were environmental matters that had to be dealt with before the reeds can be removed.

“The City is making every effort to improve the lives of residents living in Los Angeles informal settlement. These efforts include the implementation of flood mitigation measures and the City has also entered into discussions with Eskom to electrify the area,” she said.

Ms Reddy said in the meantime, a three metre buffer along the existing reed edge had been trimmed which allowed the community to have an increased visual surveillance of the surrounding reeded area.

“Residents are encouraged to ensure that they are registered on the City’s housing database to be considered for housing opportunities, should they become available and should they qualify,” she said

She also reminded residents to report crime-related matters to the police for investigation.