ANOTHER GRISLY WEEKEND ON THE CAPE FLATS
Grandmother stabbed to death, mother of two murdered while waiting for an Uber
Residents of gang-ravaged Manenberg were lost for words and asking what might have driven a 15-year-old boy to stab to death a 76-year-old woman.
The murder of Ruwayda Omar occured on Sunday 23 November 2020 in Manenberg — an area notorious for its gangs, drugs and underworld-related violent crimes.
Omar’s son, Maghdien Omar, found his mother’s semi-naked body with multiple stab wounds to her upper body in her home in Elsieskraal Street.
According to family members, the possibility of a robbery gone horribly wrong could not be excluded as nothing had been taken from the deceased’s home.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed a 15-year-old male has been arrested and charged with murder.
Residents said the victim was old enough to have been the young man’s grandmother and were shocked by the age of the suspect.
Omar’s murder was one of two that took place since Friday 20 November on the Cape Flats.
A Bonteheuwel mother of two, Lauren Dryden, was shot and killed on Friday morning outside her workplace in Epping. She had just finished a late-night shift and had been waiting for an Uber she had called to take her home.
While waiting, she was apparently approached by an unknown man who demanded her cellphone. The suspect purportedly took her phone and instead of letting Dryden go, he fatally shot her. She died on the spot. A 36-year-old suspect was arrested and briefly appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court on a count of murder.
Another horrific murder that reverberated throughout the province was that of 16-year-old Jordan Moore, a Grade 10 pupil at Robinvale High School, a week ago on Friday 13 November 2020.
He was stabbed to death and had bite wounds, presumed to be from a pit bull, as well as a chain around his neck. Seven suspects, alleged members of the G-Unit gang, were arrested in connection with his murder.
Lucy Jamieson, a researcher at the University of Cape Town Children’s Institute, commenting on the gravity of these murders, said this was nothing new.
The gruesome slaying of 17-year-old Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp in February 2013 was a reminder of this. Anene was raped, disembowelled and left for dead at a construction site.
“We have seen violent crimes perpetrated by children and of course we need to be concerned how unusual this is. Year after year we have seen an unacceptable picture of the level of violence. They are not getting better. We need to do things differently,” she said.
Regarding the 15-year-old boy who allegedly murdered Omar, Jamieson underlined that the perpetrator might have been brought up in an environment where he may have witnessed violence, become accustomed to it and later re-enacted what he had been exposed to over a period of time.
“That violence is deeply embedded in the childhood of such a child. Everything starts at home and starts with all of us,” she explained.
There was sharp reaction from the spheres of government and civil society after the rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana on 24 August 2019. However, nothing had been implemented and the real work was only beginning now, Jamieson said.
“We need that investment made to become a commitment. If we can make the National Strategic Plan work, then it will give the fight the momentum to change the tide,” Jamieson said.
A community worker in Atlantis who engages with gangsters in and outside prison on a daily basis in this gang-ravaged area echoed Jamieson’s findings that the environment children grow up in at some stage becomes a decisive factor in deciding whether to join a gang.
Relating to the horrific murder of 16-year-old Jordan, she said: “One of the seven accused arrested in connection with the brutal murder came from a dysfunctional home.
“His parents are both drug addicts and live in abject poverty. He grew up in this unhealthy environment, it became acceptable to him and it was very easy for him to slip into gangsterism. Joining a gang was a way out for him to get away from the drug and poverty environment.”
Atlantis residents say members of the G-Unit are allegedly behind the callous murder of Jordan and those who live within the turf of this gang are too scared to come forward with information that might assist the police in its investigation.
Meanwhile, on Monday 23 November, friends and relatives of murdered Dryden, as well as residents of Bonteheuwel, joined ward councillor Angus Mckenzie and City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith at the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court where the alleged killer briefly appeared.
“The brutal murder of Lauren Dryden will not go unpunished. It is quite clear the community at large are highly frustrated with the situation and the murder. One of the issues that pops here is the fact that gender-based violence must stop. We cannot continue to see violence being perpetrated against women and children,” Mckenzie said. DM/MC
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