“This is the fifth person that has been killed in the past month by gangsters. We are tired of this unending violence, where no arrests have been made."
A GROUP of minors were arrested for the murder of 16-year-old Kimberley Boys’ High School pupil, Tshepiso Thompson, who was killed and robbed of his Adidas sneakers and denim jacket on the weekend while walking home with his friends.
The same suspects are also believed to have been involved in the murder of a Grade 12 pupil, Boniface Ndlovu, who was last month stabbed and robbed of the shoes that he had worn to his matric dance.
The house of one of the persons suspected of being involved in Thompson’s fatal stabbing was also set alight during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Tyres were also set alight in the streets and community members gathered in groups in Vergenoeg on Sunday night to express their anger over gangs that have taken over the streets.
Residents said that every weekend youths were being robbed and killed by gang members.
“This is the fifth person that has been killed in the past month by gangsters. We are tired of this unending violence, where no arrests have been made. Gangs are terrorising the community and we do not feel safe.”
Police spokesperson, Captain Bashoabile Kale, said yesterday that eight girls and seven boys between the ages of 14 and 19 years old, believed to be part of the Destruction Boyz gang, were arrested on Sunday, with the assistance of community members, in connection with the murders.
“Although they are minors, they will be processed through the system and will appear in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court within the next 48 hours.”
Kale said they were still waiting for the complainant of the house that was torched to open a case.
The ANC Youth League’s regional chairperson, Sandiseni Sithole, called on the Northern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, to step down in light of the escalating murder rate.
“We condemn the slow pace at which these murderers are being brought to book.
“The plight of Kimberley’s people is being ignored at the expense of cheap politicking. Shivuri is not fit to hold office because he is not serving the interests of the community. The public has lost confidence in the police.”
Sithole called for community crime fighters – Operation Wanya Tsotsi – to be reinstated to restore order and curb gangsterism.
“Had it not been for Operation Wanya Tsotsi and the assistance of the community, the suspects would never have been arrested.
“The Destruction Boyz gang should be disbanded. Youths are killing youths. Youths who are committing serious crimes must be properly rehabilitated before they are released back into society. Parents should not hide their children away if they are involved in crime.
“We also call on government to assist the bereaved families in whatever manner possible.”
Sithole expressed the league’s condolences to the families who had lost loved ones.
“We request the community to remain calm and not to burn down other people’s houses. The law enforcement authorities should be given time and space to do their jobs. We condemn all forms of violence.”
He believed that the high unemployment rate, especially among youths, was contributing towards youngsters becoming involved in gangs.
“Idle hands result in youngsters roaming the streets and becoming involved in alcohol and drug abuse. There are also no recreational facilities or sports grounds for young people to keep themselves occupied.”
The communications unit at SAPS Provincial acknowledged receipt of media enquiries but indicated that it was not able to respond at the time of going to print.