Westbury residents threaten shutdown as pharmacist is shot dead

A shut-down is looming in the besieged community of Westbury, west of Johannesburg. This almost a week after residents pleaded with the Deputy National Police Commissioner Tebello Mosikili to deploy the army. They wanted the army to resolve the issue of violent crime in the area.

Westbury community activist Jefferson Alistair Johnson said on Monday afternoon a man was gunned down in his pharmacy. He was serving some patients in his shop when three men wearing balaclavas walked in and ambushed him.

Ambushed in his pharmacy

“It is so unfortunate that yet another man died at the hands f gun violence. I am furious. I am angry at authorities who promised a so-called deployment of 200 boots on the ground.

“They said these 200 soldiers will be split amongst communities facing the same battle against gun-violence. After all the promises, I fail to understand how our people are dying week in and week out,” he said.

According to the police, on Monday night a pharmacist, Faizel Mckenzie, was fatally wounded in Newclare at approximately 3.30pm. 

In accordance with Muslim custom, Mckenzie was buried on Tuesday before dusk.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo said: “It is alleged that the victim was in his pharmacy with his three employees. Three unknown males wearing balaclavas entered the pharmacy and went straight to the pharmacist. They started shooting at him.”

Motive unknown

Masondo said that the suspects fled from the scene and the victim was certified dead on the scene.

“The motive for the killing cannot be confirmed at this stage. Police have opened a case of murder and are searching for the suspects,” Masondo said.

Masondo furthermore appealed to those with information that can help in the investigation or assist in the apprehension of the suspects. He urged them to call the nearest police station or call crime stop on 08600 10111.

On March 11, Westbury lost a leader when community activist Ashwin Mccabe was murdered. He was killed during a drive-by shooting outside his take-away shop in Newclare.

Police not helping stem violence

Anti-drug activist Dereleen James tearfully spoke to Sunday World. She stated that it is  clear that “we on our own”.

“Reaching out to SAPS serves no purpose as we have been doing so for years on end. The levels of violence and fear instilled within residents has reached boiling point.

“As a community activist and ActionSA Team FIX SA, we call for an immediate intervention from Department of Defence. At this stage we fear going to the shop or our kids playing outside,” she said.

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