Cape Town – Fearful and hopeless Manenberg residents have described their conditions as “living in hell on earth” in the wake of a raging gang war between rival groupings.
They feel trapped indoors, fearing for their lives, with the dead bodies of innocent victims piling up.
Their hope for authorities to bring the situation to an end is fading away.
“All we do is pray for God to protect us,” said one resident, speaking on condition of anonymity.
At least two murders and several attempted murders have been registered for investigation, with no arrests to date, according to police.
“On Wednesday (2022-11-30) a shootout between the gangs on Duinefontein Road erupted in front of the police station at 2pm.
“This shooting led the conflict into another gang’s turf which has now led to a retaliation by the other gangs in the area.
“At 9.19pm three males aged 21,19 and 25 were shot and injured in Peta Court Manenberg leaving the 21-year-old with fatal injuries,” said police spokesperson, Wesley Twigg.
Minutes later, at 9.30pm officers responded to another shooting in Renoster Road.
It is alleged that the victim had an argument with his assailant.
“Several shots were fired at him at close range. The victim collapsed on the bed and succumbed to five gunshot wounds to his back.”
Last week a 33-year-old man was killed while his 69-year-old mother was wounded in her back.
She was taken to hospital for medical treatment.
“The motive for the shooting incidents is suspected to be gang-related.
“Manenberg police attended a crime scene on Saturday evening at about 7pm in Audrey court, where a 21-year-old male was shot and fatally wounded and three males between 25 and 31, a 25-year-old female and three boys between 16 and 18 were shot and wounded. This is under investigation.
“The 21-year-old victim was declared deceased on the scene by medical personnel, while the other victims were taken to a medical facility for medical treatment.
“The motive for the attack is yet to be established. The suspects are yet to be arrested.”
Twigg said SAPS and other law enforcement agencies were deployed to the area and will remain on the ground “until we are satisfied that law and order have been restored”.
Speaking about their ordeal, residents said the situation was so bad that they couldn’t even eat or sleep.
“We are too scared to step outside.
My brother is 25. He was shot on Saturday just after 7pm.
“It was a taxi and two cars; all three vehicles were using machine guns.
“Everyone is in a state, the children… no one has been outside since.
“They shot everyone, driving down the entire Maneberg avenue.
Nobody was safe, even children as young as two, or old people.
“They didn’t wait for anyone to disperse; they just kept shooting.
“It’s like something you could only imagine seeing on TV, a real-life war zone. We are still very traumatised.
“It is not nice to live in Manenberg because you don’t know what is going to happen next.
“Literally every day they shoot a lot of innocent people.
“My brother is not a gangster; he is a God-fearing man focused on his career. He didn’t deserve it.”
Another woman said her husband had to go to work every day to provide, all she could do was pray that he would make it home alive.
“We are living like hostages. The roads are quiet and we are a social community. Everyone is afraid to go outside. It is like a ghost town and the entire area is being affected because it seems a lot of different gangs are involved in this war.
“People are dying left, right and centre but there are just not enough police around.
“People who live in flats upstairs are so scared a stray bullet can come through their window at any point.
“Someone please just help us, we are begging for our lives.”
Anyone with information about the shootings can anonymously contact Manenberg police on 021 699 9400 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.