Pennyville residents live in fear, blame ‘Zama Zamas’ for unsafe neighbourhood


Johannesburg- Angry residents of Pennyville Phase 1 near the busy New Canada Road erupted in violence by burning tyres and blocked the road with rocks since Sunday to date.

This came after four people believed to be the residents of Pennyville flats were fatally shot by unknown people, whom the residents claim are from the nearby informal settlement.

Residents’ complained about how the police had turned a blind eye on criminal activities taking place in the area.

One of the residents say that the shooting of people happens constantly in the area, and casualties are Pennyville residents.

“There are illegal immigrants who work as mining zama-zamas who fight among themselves, and their fights escalated to our flats, where innocent people ended up being shot. When these zama-zamas fight, those who shoot each other run to our flats, and innocent people get caught in the crossfire. We live in fear as the community of Pennyville as the police do nothing about what is happening,” said a resident who live in the area.

Residents took up to the streets any blocked the road and burn tyres claiming that foreign nationals were causing havoc in the area.

Through their anger, the community said that the police from Orlando police station were not bothered by what is happening.

“We are being failed by the police and the Orlando police station cops are useless. We are tired of what is happening here, and these illegal immigrants are causing trouble here,” said another resident.

On Sunday, a message was circulated on the community WhatsApp group, where the community leaders had said that they will be holding a meeting on Wednesday to discuss further on how they will deal with criminal activities taking place in the area.

National police spokesperson, Brigadier Brenda Muridili said that the situation is calm.

“The Station Commander of Orlando Police Station met with the community members of Pennyville where they raised their concerns, especially crime in the area. We have since intensified police visibility in the area and investigation is underway to establish circumstances that led to the shooting on Friday evening. No arrests have been made yet but police are following the leads,” said Muridili.


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