As police released the names of victims killed in a shooting spree, gang experts have weighed in on burgeoning extortion activity in Khayelitsha, which residents have described as “very tense”.
Police have identified 13 people who died in a shooting spree last weekend in Khayelitsha.
Nine of those were killed on the scene while four more died in hospital.
The victims, aged between 26 and 59, were identified as Ibrahim Abdul Ahmed, Ebrahim Abdulle, Muhammed Hassan, Ackin Justin, Ahmed Abubakar Omar, Mbalabu Lubamba, Thembile Lamani, Asemahle Mayekiso, Siyabonga Bethani, Simphiwe Mzola, Gavin Futho, Thabiso Simelane and Sikhumbule Nkonki.
Eleven suspects, aged between of 28 and 45, were arrested at a hotel in Sea Point on Monday morning.
Three of the suspects, Andile Valishiya, Dominic Isaacs and Fundile Maseti, appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court in relation to murder and their case was postponed to June 2.
A Khayelitsha resident, who did not want to be named, described the situation in the area as “tense” and feared that “anything could happen (at) any time”.
“It is difficult to say what may or may not happen as we do not know who is linked to whom. People are scared and don’t even trust each other,” the resident said.
Policing and conflict specialists have called for effective policing and enhancement of crime intelligence to address burgeoning extortion activity in Khayelitsha.
They said the task of dislodging extortion networks in the area was more complex than in most other areas because extortion groups had become entrenched in some important areas.
Senior advisor to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) and former advisor to the minister of police and safety in 1994, Peter Gastrow, said there was also a failure to detect and properly investigate extortion cases for submission to prosecution authorities.
A report on the investigation he conducted, titled Lifting the Veil on Extortion in Cape Town, Gastrow said residents did not trust the police and were reluctant to report cases of extortion to them.
“Individual members of the police reportedly had links with, and worked for the groups (extortion) and an atmosphere of fear and intimidation is pervasive,” Gastrow’s report noted, adding that the state no longer seemed to have much influence or interest in what happened in some areas of Khayelitsha.
“Criminal governance usually grows amid distrust of state institutions, or where state presence is weak,” Gastrow noted.
Gangs identified as the “Guptas” and the “Boko Haram” were said to be at the centre of extortion rings as well as shootings related to extortion in at least five major townships in Cape Town – including Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Nyanga and Philippi.
The report said the Guptas, seen as the “upstarts”, were expanding rapidly and competing ruthlessly with Boko Haram by muscling in on the extortion market.
“The active expansion of Boko Haram’s extortion activities into other Cape Town townships is likely to provide an example for the Guptas to follow. Extortion is a relatively low-risk and lucrative form of criminal activity, and if it does spread to other urban areas, the lawlessness, violence, lack of development and misery in other townships is likely to intensify,” the report warned.
However, there were reports that the Khayelitsha gangsters were also spreading their activities to the Eastern Cape, according to the report.
Last year, hundreds of spaza shop owners In Nelson Mandela Bay received letters from an organisation named Youth against Crime, asking for “donations” of between R1 000 and R1 500 to protect shops against criminals.
Gastrow warned that the reference to gangsters from Cape Town moving to the Eastern Cape should be investigated and taken seriously.
Senior policing expert, Eldred de Klerk said: “We have to grow our investigative capacity and build evidence. We need investigators who have the capacity to use technology and build evidence.”
According to Gastrow’s report, some of the factors that could have contributed to the burgeoning extortion rackets in Khayelitsha were:
- the so-called deal entered into from 2017 between Somali spaza shop owners in Khayelitsha and various local extortion gangs.
- poor police-community relationship and lack of reporting.
- failure by the police to detect and properly investigate extortion cases.
- weak crime intelligence on the part of the police officers who were expected to investigate extortion cases.
The report further noted that where members of the police who profited from alleged involvement in extortion, it would not be in their own interest to assist in dislodging extortion networks and were likely to be obstacles in attempts to counter extortion measures rather than drive them.
Gastrow noted that in the public’s eye, the police had not succeeded in investigating, arresting and bringing to book top gang and crime bosses who were behind the extortion rackets.
The report called for a new reporting system for extortion, and for extortion to be recognised as a serious threat that should be accorded priority, and thus additional resources to be allocated to police and other government departments.
De Klerk added that all levels of government, from national to local spheres, needed to work together to fight the crisis.
“We know the police cannot do this alone. They need to work together with municipalities and communities,” De Klerk said.
Gastrow agreed, saying that international experience was that collective responses were required to counter extortion effectively.
In the Bellville CBD, in an area known as Little Mogadishu where Somalis ran businesses, the City of Cape Town provided security and the businesses also employed security companies to patrol the streets.
There were currently no extortion rackets in Little Mogadishu but what had continued was a form of extortion, namely kidnappings for ransom of prominent persons from the Somali community, the report said.
“The Bellville experience illustrates that community responses can be effective under certain circumstances. In other areas affected by extortion, the terrain is often far more complex, however. It should therefore not be regarded as a model that can be replicated elsewhere without considerable adjustments to meet local circumstances,” Gastrow added.
In other news – #RIPMjokes: Trompies member Emmanuel Matsane (Mjokes) dies in a car accident
Trompies member Emmanuel Matsane, popularly known as Mjokes, has died.
The talented musician, who was part of the iconic kwaito group known for their hit song Sweety Lavo and a director at the record label Kalawa Jazmee, died in a car accident. His death was announced by Kalawa Jazmee through a statement. Learn More
The post Names of all 13 who died in Khayelitsha shooting spree revealed appeared first on News365.co.za.