Growing extortion rackets being blamed for Khayelitsha mass shootings

Residents and business owners told Eyewitness News that the extortion problem was growing.

Khayelitsha police station sign Picture: Lizell Persens/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Once again extortion rackets are being blamed for fatal shootings in a Cape Town community.

On Saturday, 13 people were killed and five were seriously wounded in gun violence in Khayelitsha.

Eleven suspects were apprehended at a Sea Point hotel on Monday morning and were being detained for questioning.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said that getting to the root cause of Saturday's carnage was the main focus.

If the allegations of "protection money" checked out, the investigation would be shared with the priority committee on organised crime and extortion.

"I think the committee is a very good move in this specific case now a 21-man team, I'm talking about 21 senior investigators on this. They will also link up with the committee all the time and we can take it to the next step," Fritz said.

Residents and business owners told Eyewitness News that the extortion problem was growing.

"On that issue of collecting money, it's obvious that they will come every month and I don't have a choice, I have to give them. They come, they ask for R350 but I refused R350 and they were doing like this 'please can you make fast' and I give them R100 and then they go," a business owner said.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.