Mariannhill residents live in fear over retaliation by gangs

Mariannhill shootout crime scene
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Residents of Desai settlement in Mariannhill in Durban have told Police Minister Bheki Cele that they are afraid to report crimes for fear of retaliation from gangs.

Most residents were afraid to speak on record.

Cele visited the community after nine suspects were killed in a shootout with police on Wednesday.

Two suspects are still on the run.

Police believe the nine suspects who were killed in a shootout this week, are linked to more than 25 cases dating back to October.

These include house robbery, rape, murder and attempted murder.

Cele explains: “For now, we support the police and for now the police have done what they were supposed to do, to protect themselves and protect the community around here. The criminality in this province and thus country is either the police or them.”

“Simply put, the police in this province and nationally are on top of this situation, and we continue to encourage them to work on that way. The only thing that we forever call on the police, they shouldn’t, and they must not die with the guns in their hands when they approach the criminals that are armed,” explains Cele.

Meanwhile, the father of one of the nine suspects who were killed maintains that his son was innocent.

“What is breaking my heart is that we have been told that they were also retaliating, yet there were no weapons in their position, amongst the deceased. There were some who have been terrorizing the community … they were robbing people,” he explains.

“But I disagree with reports that suggest that they were operating as hitmen, I’m disturbed by what happened, police were supposed to arrest them because they were not violent. The sad part is that the police also killed innocent people,” adds the father.

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