Cape Town – Frustrated Sea Point residents say the occupation of land by a group of homeless people at Tent City in that area has reached a critical point, following a fatal stabbing incident.
It is alleged that a young man who was visiting Tent City was stabbed repeatedly with a sharp knife, following an argument that turned violent on Thursday afternoon.
The man is understood to have run away, but died on the steps of the police station.
Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said a police detective commander who was in his office at the time, heard a commotion just outside his office window.
“He witnessed a male running towards the Sea Point Community Service Centre and another behind him, holding a sharp object in his hands.
“Shortly afterwards an unknown male collapsed in the doorway to the Community Service Centre. A senior police officer arrested the 40-year-old man on a charge of murder.
“The alleged murder weapon was also found and handed in as an exhibit. The identity of the deceased has not yet been determined,” Twigg said.
The suspect appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court Monday on a charge of murder.
Sea Point councillor Nicola Jowell said the ongoing occupation of the land has reached a critical point, and it was detrimental to the community.
“Tragically this incident claimed the life of a young man, believed to be from the Bo-Kaap area. The City has successfully relocated a number of people from the site and according to the leaseholder, a number of others have left over the past few months.
“The number of people and structures has reduced quite a bit. But it is not a way that people should be living, and the City’s offers of assistance to relocation to other more suitable accommodation or for reunification with families, is refused,” she said.
“The City in the past few weeks has restarted with formal the offers of assistance, and is following various internal processes under the relevant by-laws. The City is ready to assist those living here to move to better circumstances and off the street. The street dwellers are negatively impacting visitors to the area and the broader residential community and businesses,” Jowell said.
Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto believed this was not a situation of homelessness, but a situation of drugs.
“Bring drugs into any equation and you have a problem of violence, abuse and murder. We all know the carnage drugs are causing in drug-infested areas. Homelessness is not the problem, it is the result of societal ills like drugs. Until the City comes together around a table with homeless organisations and the communities, it will only get worse.”
City councillor and chairperson of the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Action Group, Paul Jacobson, said something needs to be done in the area urgently.
“It appeared that the incident happened between two street dwellers. Another video that circulated a day before was of a vicious fight between two street dwellers residing at Tent City in full view of the public,” said Jacobson.