‘Gang violence, crime affect many Gauteng communities’ — police

To say that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has neglected gang-infested areas in Gauteng is not true, according to police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo. 

Responding to Sunday World‘s question this week, Masondo said gang-related violence and crime in Gauteng affect a number of communities. These include Joburg’s suburbs of  Westbury, Eldorado Park, Newclare, Claremont, Riverlea, Noordgesig and Reigerpark.

Anti-crime units deployed in hot spot areas

He said: “Of recent, national and provincial interventions have been implemented in order to augment day-to-day deployments in the area. These included the anti-gang unit as well as district- and station-level deployments. They are focused specifically on gang activities in the affected areas.”

Masondo explained that the gang activities were previously stabilised. However, they have resurfaced recently, hence the interventions.

He broke down the current deployments, which include members from crime intelligence and anti-gang detectives from organised crime investigations. Also the public order police, the tactical response team, the K9 unit, Gauteng Traffic, and JMPD, among others.

“These extra units are deployed in hotspot areas according to crime pattern analysis,” Masondo said.

Masondo referred to murder rates and arrests in Gauteng between October and December 2023.

Increasing murder rates

He said: “During the period under review, 1,787 people were killed in Gauteng, which reflects an increase of 3.8% [66 counts]. A total of 214 were women, while 55 were children.

“The analysis of a sample of 1,691 cases revealed the top three contributors to the general increase in murder. These were arguments, misunderstandings, provocation and road rage in 185 cases. Followed by robberies [house, business and street] in 154 cases and vigilantism in 84 cases.”

Masondo said amid many other factors that contributed to murder increases in Gauteng, was the phenomenon of multiple murders.

Masondo explained: “This is where there is more than one victim murdered in one incident. Gauteng had 65 dockets of murder registered with 156 victims. And that has contributed to more accumulated counts of murder during this quarter.

“Examples of the incidents of multiple murders that occurred during the quarter under review happened in De Deur and Diepsloot.”

Multiple murders

Masondo detailed that in De Deur, five black males from a taxi association were found lying on the ground, lifeless, with bullet wounds.

He further stated that there were six more black males who were rushed to the hospital. One succumbed to the injuries at the hospital.

Three taxis and four vehicles were riddled with bullet holes. The case is still under investigation.

In Diepsloot, five lifeless bodies were discovered in the early hours of Saturday in a nearby CPF district office.

Vigilante murders

The victims were found on a pile of bricks, burnt. It was alleged that they were chased, caught and tied before being “necklaced”.

Five suspects have since been arrested and were remanded in custody. 

He old Sunday World that 557 arrests for murder and 610 attempted murders were made.

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