Fear grips Atlantis as key witness is gunned down before giving testimony that could put gangsters behind bars
An Atlantis woman, one of three witnesses to the brutal gang slaying of a 28s prison gang member, was gunned down on Monday 25 January.
Janine Manuel (39) was shot dead on Monday in Shelley Court, Atlantis, 40km north of Cape Town. The area is a stronghold of the Americans gang and family members of Manuel, fearing for their lives, confirmed that Manuel was one of the witnesses to the slaying of 28s gang member Faakhir Moosa (31) on 30 June 2016.
Moosa was stabbed 13 times, and his skull was shattered. The murder was allegedly carried out by the Americans gang. In October 2020 police apprehended six suspects, including Manuel’s stepbrother, in connection with Moosa’s murder.
Four of the suspects, including Manuel’s stepbrother, were granted R1,500 bail in the Atlantis Magistrates’ Court in November 2020, while two are still behind bars. The suspects are due back in court on Friday 19 February.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that a case of murder had been opened after Manuel’s death. No arrests have been made, she said.
A relative told Maverick Citizen: “Janine was tired of being away and came home to tell the police that she is not going to testify in the murder case of Moosa. She came home on Saturday 23 January and two days later she was shot and killed… just outside her front door in Shelley Court.”
Manuel’s murder has opened old wounds for Faakhir Moosa’s parents, Naboewieja and Rashied and for the first time in four years the mother talked about the events of 30 June 2016.
She said apart from her three sons she adopted another son, Henry. On 29 June 2016, a day before Faakhir Moosa was killed, gangsters from Castle Flats shot Henry. She said Faakhir was a 28s gang member and was in and out of prison.
“Faakhir was asleep at home when someone from the street came, woke him up and told him Henry was shot. I went to the scene… I saw Henry on the floor. Henry told me it was okay because he only sustained a flesh wound. The cellphone in his back pocket deflected the bullet,” she said.
She looked for Faakhir but he wasn’t there. She said after a while Faakhir came back and held her tight, said, ‘Mommy I love you very much’, and that he was going to Castle Flats.
“Around 10pm a woman knocked on my door. She told us Faakhir was shot in the leg in Shelley Court. We rushed to Shelley Court hoping to find my son. We couldn’t find Faakhir and returned home. On the morning of 30 June 2016 around 3am I phoned Atlantis police station who told me they haven’t found his body. I decided I’m going to look for my son.”
She walked the streets in Avondale, Atlantis, hoping to find her son. She went to all his friends but none of them knew where he was. She met another woman who joined her in the search.
“I had my phone torch and we were searching a field near Parkview Primary. As I approached a tree near the mosque it was as if my mind just went blank. When I looked I was standing next to my son’s body. All that I said was, ‘Allah just made a strong mother’.
“When I lifted up my son’s hoody top, his brains were lying on his arms,” the sobbing mother said.
Meanwhile, Roegchanda Pascoe, an activist in Manenberg, whose testimony in the Western Cape High Court led to Clever Kids gang leader Mohamed Faeez Hendricks receiving a 25-year jail term in October 2019, fears for her life.
Hendricks’ co-accused, Naiem Benjamin, received a 25-year sentence for his part in the murder of Hard Livings gang member Angelo Davids in Manenberg on July 20, 2016. Davids was repeatedly kicked, beaten and a concrete block was thrown on his head. Pascoe witnessed part of the attack
Since her testimony and the sentencing of the two, Pascoe has received constant threats and was forced to flee her home and live in secret locations. However, on Saturday 16 January her safe location was compromised when a gangster came to her house.
“Around 3am I heard someone knocking on the window. I looked at the video footage and saw that it was a gangster. The Clever Kids have said they won’t rest until I’m taken out for sending their leader to jail.
“The fact that I will be killed doesn’t bother me but… my children will be left homeless.”
Tired of running, hiding and living in constant fear, Pascoe said: “I’m prepared to die if my children are not left homeless. Then I will go back to Manenberg and hand myself over on a platter to the Clever Kids.” DM/MC
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