Police hope to build strong case against Khayelitsha mass shooting suspects

Thirteen people were shot dead and five remain hospitalised following sporadic shootings that occurred in the township on Saturday.

Western Cape Acting Commissioner Major General Thembisile Patekile (C) at the Khayelitsha police station on 17 May 2021 after the murder of 13 people and the arrest of 11 suspects. Picture: Lizell Persens/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Police top brass are hoping to build a strong case in order for all Khayelitsha shooting suspects to appear in court this week.

Thirteen people were shot dead and five remain hospitalised following sporadic shootings that occurred in the township on Saturday.

Eleven suspects were arrested and detained for questioning after they were nabbed at a Sea Point hotel early on Monday morning.

Authorities visited the Khayelitsha police station for a meeting to assess the latest massacre.

Acting provincial police commissioner Thembisile Patekile said: “We have two options, which we hope we'll get all of them to court and if not all of them, the majority of them.”

The violence has left the community's hordes of residents trembling in fear and afraid to leave their homes.

The Khayelitsha Development Forum's Ndithini Thyido said the community was angry.

The community is still pleading for a police station to be built in Makhaza.

“In the last 14 to 15 years, Khayelitsha was promised a police station and we are very angry and we are calling on the president of the country to look into it,” Thyido said.

He's hopeful all levels of government could work as a collective to curb the violence.

“We are not interested in being a political tennis ball for government, we are fed up as a community.”

Meanwhile, criminology expert Dr Simon Howell on Tuesday said rooting out extortion rackets in Cape Town communities would require a lot more direct engagement from police.

The shootings in Khayelitsha are reportedly linked to clashes regarding the "protection fees" of businesses in the township.

Howell said though police were calling on communities to report extortion-related matters, the extortion gangs still required direct engagement from authorities.

“The gang from which the individuals come from are quite large so it is going to take a lot of work by the communities to begin engaging with the problem. Extortion is now part and parcel of any business.”

He added that the issue had increasingly grown since the start of the hard lockdown.

“Gangs have grown since the end of the [hard] lockdown because the lockdown affected everyone. Such people are now trying to regroup their financial bases and we need to figure out if there are means of engaging with them.”

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