Two suspects arrested for murder of 4 people in Jukulyn, Soshanguve

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Two suspects have been arrested for the murder of four people including a child in Soshanguve, North of Pretoria on New Year’s Day. 14-year-old Vuyolwethu Ziwela, her uncle, a police officer Mpho Kgobotlo, and his two friends Phomolang Molakapatlo and Thando Dlamini were gunned down by heavily armed suspects at the township’s notorious Jukulyn section in Block P.

The motive is unknown.

Four Soshanguve families entered the new year with heartbreak.

Shortly after midnight, assailants travelling in two cars fired at a group of people who were in a car outside the 14-year-old victim’s home. The owner of the car, a 29-year-old police officer attached to K9 unit at the OR Tambo International Airport was also killed.

His father, Philemon Tshipu says he was in disbelief.

“I arrived at 00:45. I found him lying down in front of his car. When I got there, I was never okay, didn’t know what to do or say. That’s when I realised that my son is no more. I was heartbroken.”

Vuyolwethu (14) was caught in the crossfire. She had gone to the gate to greet her police officer uncle when she was struck by a bullet.

Her family, however, is not happy with the conduct of the police.

Family spokesperson, Yandiswa Nhlapo says their confidence in the police is low after a statement made to them circulated on social media.

“Yesterday morning, my younger sister gave a statement. Within two hours before the police could move, the statement that we gave was going viral via WhatsApp. So, you can ask where statements go. If I give the police information and I find information from a friend who got it from a friend, that tells you the police are working with the criminals,” says Nhlapo.

Nhlapo says the safest action she can do is to take her family out of the area: 

Crime in Jukulyn has over the years become rampant. Business owners are reportedly forced to pay gangs protection fees, while some spaza shops were forced to close as a result.

Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, says the crime rate in the area is alarming.

“They’ve got 331 active cases. This area alone is an indication that we need to overhaul how we are policing this community. There is a common case where people advertise the sale of cars online and when people come to buy, they pounce on them. The police gave me a breakdown of almost 118 cases of people they’ve arrested related to some of these cases.”

Lesufi says police must leave no stone unturned : 

The community is also living in fear. Some women in the community say numerous community meetings with the police were in vain.

“The commander at Rietgat Police Station promised by October, we would have police being accompanied by patrollers,” says one of the women.

Another says; “I would also love to see patrollers, real patrollers.”

The two suspects will appear at the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.