Kensington attack: City Parks wants private security to patrol parks

Two couples were attacked while walking through Rhodes Park on Saturday.

Flowers laid at the scene where two couples were brutally attacked by a gang of 12 men on Saturday at Rhodes Park in Kensington. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Joburg City Parks has appealed to private security companies to consider patrolling public open spaces after two people were killed and another gang raped at Rhodes Park in Kensington.

It says the police will improve their visibility and patrol parks around the city especially on weekends.

Two couples were attacked while walking through Rhodes Park on Saturday evening.

Both men were tied up and thrown in the lake, while one of the women was gang raped and the other managed to escape.

Police are still searching for a group of at least 12 men involved in the rape and murders.

Officials from the city and a group of residents paid tribute to the two men killed in the attack at the park yesterday.

Joburg City Parks Jenny Moodley said, "We're appealing to private security companies to call us, let's look at how we can trade-off in terms of making sure your boards are visible in some of these places.

"And at the same time, ensure that our communities feel quite safe and secure while they utilise public open space."

GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR CAUTION AT PUBLIC PARKS

Government has called on South Africans to be more cautious when visiting public parks following the deadly attack.

Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams has condemned the attack on the two couples.

"Government has condemned the attack that happened over the weekend and we wish to call on South Africans to work with the police."

She said South Africans need to take greater care when visiting parks and recreation centres.

"I think we are forced to call on society to be much more careful in such isolated places, be more cautious and avoid secluded areas."

The police have not yet made any arrests linked to the attack.

RESIDENTS LIVING IN FEAR

Residents of Kensington say they've been left disgusted and terrified after the attack.

They say there's been a spike in violent crimes in the area and claim the park is being used as a haven by criminals.

Flowers have been laid at the section of the walkway where the two couples are believed to have been attacked.

A man, who lives in a building across the street, says muggings and robberies have become common in the area.

Another long-time resident says the area attracts dozens of people, but has not been maintained.

Today there are no security guards patrolling the area and a small group of children are playing nearby.

Some residents also say they plan on monitoring safety through community patrols.