Fear reigns among residents in Jouberton, Klerksdorp, North West, as crime is reportedly gaining traction in this gang-infested township. They say there have been increasing incidences of crime, which either are not reported to the police or do not get resolved when reported.
Recently a leader of the so-called Al Qaeda gang Andile Ndamoyi was gunned down in broad daylight, while businesses have been robbed. Guns were used to commission some of the crimes with business owners allegedly forced to pay protection fees to the gangs.
Nolavi Pangumso’s 31-year-old brother Luphumlo Pangumso was shot and killed two weeks ago by a suspect reportedly known to the community. Despite this, the suspected murderer is roaming free and Pangumso says they live in fear.
Pangumso says, “Many people have been shot here at the hostel. There’s another person who was shot at the weekend my brother was shot. That person is still in the hospital. There’s no progress on these cases.”
Robbery is also a common occurrence and two business people say they were robbed at gunpoint early this month.
The first business owner says, “It’s painful that none of the people who injured us got arrested. I opened a case and gave them the identity of the person who robbed us.”
“We were robbed by three armed men who took more than ten thousand from my business proceeds,” said another victim of the robbery.
Community representatives are now calling for police intervention before crime escalates further. One member of the community says, “Seemingly even the police are scared of the gangs.”
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Fear in community
“This needs to be solved really; we can’t live like this really. We ask, even you Minister Bheki Cele, please you’ve helped a lot of people, you’ve been moving around. Can you please come and assist this side,” said a representative of the community.
Deputy provincial commissioner for Policing General Patrick Asaneng says they have detected fear among community members who either don’t report cases or abandon court proceedings where cases were opened.
Asaneng adds that “Our humble plea, to those who are victims of crime, is that they should come forward. We will deal with crime and criminality without fear. We want to assure the community, and we are not just saying this. Therefore, I am making an appeal to anybody who has opened a case, let them come, we will treat their cases with dignity.”
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies were deployed in numbers to police Klerksdorp, during the funeral service of gang leader Andile Ndamoyi. Asaneng says fifteen people were arrested this week, for several charges, such as possession of illegal weapons and extortion. They reportedly belong to different gangs in Jouberton.
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