The Western Cape Police have reinforced presence in Ocean View, Cape Town after a spate of gang violence in the area.
Anti Gang Unit members, Tactical Response Team members, Public Order Police and additional detectives have been deployed in the volatile area to monitor flare-ups and trace suspects.
A 25-year-old man was shot and killed and by three suspects late on Saturday afternoon [December 26], according to a police statement. The deceased’s brother was also involved in the incident but survived his injuries.
Later on the same evening, in apparent retaliation, a large group of men set two vehicles alight at 7pm close to the scene of the shooting.
“The group is alleged to have also pursued another man who had to jump from the window of his home while fleeing his attackers. An informal dwelling place was also damaged during the attacks,” said Brigadier Novela Potelwa in a statement.
A video that allegedly depicts the violence that took place on December 26 surfaced on one of Ocean View’s community Facebook pages. In the video you can hear multiple gunshots, then you see a group running up the stairs and setting a flat on fire before fleeing.
The police apprehended a 23-year-old suspect who was part of the group. He was found in possession of a zip-gun, which is a homemade firearm, and ammunition.
Detectives questioned two people in connection with the murder and a 19-year-old was taken into custody for one of the two vehicles that were set on fire.
Ocean View detectives are pursuing multiple cases, including murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.
“The area is relatively quiet at the moment as police continue to keep a watchful eye on the situation,” said Potelwa on Sunday.
Nithaam Solomon (28), an Ocean View resident, acting as a voice for his community, took to social media over the weekend to call for an end to the violence, which is ripping the ‘close-knit’ community apart.
“Things have changed. The fears we have now are very different from the fears we had back then,” said Solomon who grew up in the area and witnessed its change.
Solomon recalls that in the past those who were not involved with gangsterism were not harmed but that is no longer the case.
“I can’t say the same right now,” he said. “Right now, it’s a free for all. People go to work, they come from work… they fear for their lives.”
Children, too, have to live with this fear when they travel to and from school.
Solomon believes that there is a trove of talent buried beneath the negative connotations, such as gunshots, gangsterism and crime, that dominate the discourse about Ocean View.
“These injustices are currently overshadowing our talent,” he said.
“On my way home, I heard there were gunshots, there were all types of things happening today in our community.
“What has changed? Where have we gone wrong? Where have we wronged ourselves?”
“We seriously need to change, but we need to be that change,” declared Solomon.
Picture: Screenshot from video