South Africa

TAVERN MURDERS

First arrest after seven shot dead in Khayelitsha

First arrest after seven shot dead in Khayelitsha
A report based on small-scale rental units on properties in Khayelitsha is being considered to address the housing backlog in Cape Town. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

A suspect was arrested on Monday morning after a horrific shooting in Cape Town claimed the lives of seven people and left seven wounded – including a six-year-old girl – on Sunday morning.

A 32-year-old suspect has been arrested in connection with a shooting in Khayelitsha Site B on Sunday, 8 March 2020 in which seven people were killed and seven others wounded, including a six-year-old girl. 

According to the Western Cape SAPS, the suspect from Khayelitsha was arrested on 9 March and is due to appear in court “soon”. 

Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said the number of gunmen could not be confirmed at this stage as there were still “conflicting reports from eyewitnesses”. 

“But what we are certain of is that it is more than one person,” she told Daily Maverick

The gunmen stormed a house, which was operating as an illegal liquor outlet and began shooting randomly in the early hours of Sunday morning. Five people died on the scene and another died shortly afterwards in hospital. The body of the seventh victim, a 34-year-old man who is believed to be the owner of the house, was found on Sunday night.

According to police, the man was “present during the shooting incident and was thought to have fled during the attack”. Potelwa said police believe he is the six-year-old girl’s father. The child was in the house when the shooting took place.

Police are still investigating the case. The victims have been identified and their next of kin notified. Potelwa said they are between the ages of 21 and 34. 

The motive for the attack has not been established: “We would rather allow the investigation to inform us what the motive was instead of speculating what caused this,” said Potelwa. 

The illegal drinking establishment had been shut down by Khayelitsha police about a year ago. 

Western Cape MEC for Community Safety, Albert Fritz, said today that 15 “mass shootings” have happened in the past two years. This is according to a written question submitted to him by Western Cape Community Safety Committee Chairperson, Reagan Allen on 7 February 2020.

Fritz said the motives included arguments (five); intergang conflict (three); revenge (one); robbery (two); and motive unknown (four).

“Through the written question, SAPS further revealed that there are similarities in the modus operandi of the 15 identified cases in that the victims were all patrons of the taverns where the shootings occurred. At the time the answers were received, these matters were still under investigation to identify further possible motives for the shootings,” Fritz said. DM

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