Police and pastors pray to keep party spot safe

Church leaders, CPF members and police officers gathered at the Epakini Chilling Spot for a one-hour prayer service last Friday.

A popular weekend hangout for late-night revellers in Khayelitsha has been linked to several rape cases, hijackings and other crimes, warn police and crime fighters.

The Epakini Chilling Spot along Spine Road in Litha Park is a stone’s throw from the Lingelethu West police station, but station spokeswoman Sergeant Xoliswa Nyalambisa said they received an alarming number of rape cases from women who had been at the hangout, and there had been reports of e-hailing drivers raping intoxicated female customers.

The chairman of the community police forum, Lunga Guza, said hijackings were also a problem at the hangout, which he also blamed for 20 to 30 assault cases a week with three times that number over weekends.

Earlier this year, community patrollers had seen a young girl thrown from a speeding car, he said.

Thefts from cars were also common, he said.

“A new trend now is that when you lock your car, from the other side, someone will hide and slightly open the door of your car. You would think that your car is locked, but it is not, and when you come back, all your belongings from the car are gone.

“Drugs are another major crime here, and the police have not yet been able to pinpoint who is behind this drug sale here.”

He said the station did not have the resources to have officers patrol the area, and he was concerned that crime there would escalate over the festive season.

Last Friday, church leaders, CPF members and police officers gathered at the site for a prayer service in the hope that it would deter crime.

Lingelethu West Police station CPF chairman Lunga Guza says he fears crime will escalate at the Epakini Chilling Spot during the festive season.