Distressed Fochville fears ‘blanket gang’

Mpahla Village in Fochville has been described by its ward councillor as an area in distress.

The shack in Fochville that was operating as a shebeen where a shooting occurred on 26 August, 2012. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

FOCHVILLE - Mpahla Village in Fochville, south west of Johannesburg, has been described by its ward councillor as an informal settlement in distress.

Four people were killed there over the weekend when a gang of about 40 men wearing blankets allegedly stormed a shebeen and opened fire.

Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said the gang also set five shacks alight during the attack.

It also emerged the small mining community had little to no basic services.

Community leader Absalom Ntshalintshali said the lack of policing in the area means residents have to defend themselves against violent attacks.

He said the "blanket gang" travels from far away to terrorise the community.

"We have tried to engage with the police. It's difficult to control these guys because the gang members are not staying here."

Fochville ward councillor Johan Jooste on Monday said he and residents would be meet with local government officials on Wednesday to raise concerns about the lack of basic services in the area.

"There's no public lighting at all, we don't have a police station here or even a mobile station. There is no police presence here, at all."

Meanwhile, residents said they desperately needed protection from the gang and have appealed to police to intervene before another attack.