Nyanga killings a ‘wake-up call’ for the police

Ward 39 councillor Khaya Yozi said the gruesome killing of three alleged gang members in Nyanga, on Wednesday April 19, should serve as a wake-up call to the police that gangs were a problem in the area.

The men, aged between 18 and 21, were ambushed while sitting in a car outside the Nyanga hostels, a few metres from the police station. Two died inside the car, while a third was found a few metres away from the vehicle.

Nyanga spokesperson Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi said a 21-year-old man from Crossroads had been arrested in connection with the shooting.

He appeared at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Monday April 24 and is due to appear again on Tuesday May 2.

Speaking to Vukani after the incident, Mr Yozi called on the new Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi to be part of crime fighting efforts.

He said the killing had left many traumatised and urged the community to help combat the gangs.

Mr Yozi said he hoped that the appointment of Mr Mkongi would have a great impact on crime fighting because he is from the area.

“I was one of the people who rejoiced after I heard he was appointed deputy police minister. He stays not far from here. He knows the problems we are facing when it comes to gangs and crime in general. My only hope is that he will not have imbizos but will get on with the job and implement measures. We have had enough of imbizos and nothing happened,” he said.

He said people were willing to fight crime but they also needed incentives. He asked that Mr Mkongi come in to motivate community policing forums and neighbourhood watches of the area.

“He has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of what is happening here. He needs to deal with the police station in Samora so that crime does not impact only on Nyanga police. The truth is that everyone wants to fight crime but without incentives it is hard. We need committed people to part of crime fighting in the area. But this is a huge task to people,” he said.

Nyanga Community Police Forum chairman Martin Makhasi urged the community to come forward and commended those who had identified the car that the killers were driving.

“Community members worked hard on this case. It was them who identified the murderers’ car. But we still appeal to them to co-operate with the police,” he said.

Vukani tried to speak to the families of the deceased but to no avail. A family member said they are too distraught to speak to the media.