Cape Town Gang Violence
A month after ‘peacemaker’ was killed, the alleged murder weapon is still lying at the crime scene
The murdered man’s mother believes the crime scene has been compromised as the alleged murder weapon, a vital piece of evidence, was handled by scores of residents.
A bloodstained concrete block allegedly used by members of the Terribles gang to smash the head of Hilton Pieterse, 37, on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 in Ravensmead, Cape Town, had not been removed by investigators by Sunday 10 January 2021.
Pieterse was murdered after 11pm in a yard in Rose Street, Ravensmead. Family members and residents said the concrete block was found next to Pieterse’s head. He was severely beaten by seven of the alleged gang members and left for dead. He died from his injuries the following day, Thursday 17 December, in a nearby hospital.
Pieterse’s distraught mother, Katriena, 60, believes the crime scene has been compromised as the alleged murder weapon, a vital piece of evidence, was handled by scores of residents.
“The concrete block was never removed from the crime scene. Police at the crime scene saw the blood on the concrete block on the night of the gruesome murder and left it there. A witness has given the names of the people who allegedly attacked my son and so far none of them have been arrested.
“How many more innocent people must still be killed and for how long must gangsters be allowed to rule our streets with impunity?”
The Ravensmead Community Policing Forum (CPF) has expressed its unhappiness at the way the matter has been dealt with and indicated it is preparing a formal complaint.
Pieterse’s mother said her son wasn’t a gangster, but a peacemaker who broke up altercations between the Westside and Terribles gangs in the area. Pinedene Street, where Pieterse lived, separates the two gangs.
Pieterse’s sister Melony, 34, said: “Rival gangs in the area have threatened to take him out three years ago. Just because he was a peacemaker… at all times… he was seen as a troublemaker.”
On 16 December 2020 Pieterse celebrated his mother’s 60th birthday and later that evening took home two of his friends before going back home. However, just before 11pm and a couple of metres from his home, he walked into members of the Terribles gang.
His sister Deborah, 40, says witnesses told her he was assaulted by at least seven men and fell to the ground. He managed to get up and ran into Rose Street where he stumbled into a backyard. There, Terribles gang members continued to assault him and threw a concrete slab on his head.
A witness said: “I heard the commotion in my front yard and heard someone calling, ‘Mommy, help me.’ I thought it was my son… I opened the window and shouted at them to leave the man alone. One of the neighbours let his dog loose who bit one of the attackers on the arm. They fled and left the man for dead in my yard.”
Deborah Pieterse said when they arrived on the scene their brother was still breathing. When his father Mark Salomis, who works at Tygerberg Hospital, arrived, he told the police he was taking his son to the hospital.
An emergency operation was carried out, but Pieterse died the next day and was buried on Tuesday 29 December. At his funeral, mourners said when their children were involved in fights he was the one who broke up the brawls.
Residents speaking to Maverick Citizen said Pieterse was an all-rounder who was friends with everyone. The only mistake he made, they said, was not to align with any gangs in the area and he was killed because they didn’t tolerate a fence-sitter.
The Rev Nosey Pieterse, president of Bawsi Agricultural Workers Union of South Africa (Bawusa) and Pieterse’s uncle, posted on social media that he had lost another nephew years ago in Ravensmead and still had no word from the police.
Zelda Trantraal, spokesperson for the Ravensmead CPF, said they called Nosey Pieterse after learning about the murder on social media. They then learnt that the Ravensmead police had not collected the concrete block, she said.
The CPF has asked the station commander for a report on why an investigating officer hadn’t been at the murder scene or interviewed the family.
SAPS spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said, “Serious allegations are made against the police and the family is therefore encouraged to lodge an official complaint with the management of Ravensmead police station so that an investigation can be launched.” DM/MC
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