Home South African ‘Extortionists’ gun down two security escorts in Cape Town, mayor offers R100k...

‘Extortionists’ gun down two security escorts in Cape Town, mayor offers R100k reward

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Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has put up a R100,000 reward for information after local “extortionists” shot and killed two security contractor personnel escorting City of Cape Town staff attending to a sewage pipe repair.

The City of Cape Town says that services are being severely impacted by criminal attacks in parts of Philippi. File picture: Ayanda Ndamane

CAPE TOWN – Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has announced a R100,000 reward for information after local “extortionists” shot and killed two security contractor personnel escorting City of Cape Town staff attending to a sewage pipe repair.

The two security contractor personnel were escorting the staff in Philippi’s Phola Park community on Tuesday.

The armed security guards had driven to the site in Phola Park in their own company vehicle, while a City of Cape Town vehicle transported five operational staff.

On arrival, the teams disembarked to gather tools and inspect the pipe. While busy, two armed men approached the City vehicle and another two headed to the toilet block where multiple shots were fired.

While some staff and residents fled to safety, the private security guards were shot.

Law enforcement and the SAPS cordoned off the crime scene and a criminal investigation is ongoing.

Hill-Lewis said that there is R100,000 reward in place for information leading to the successful capture and prosecution of those responsible for the murders.

The City said that various services are being severely impacted by criminal attacks in parts of Philippi, including at Kosovo informal settlement, where a stormwater upgrading project is under way.

Tactical response and security escort services are being provided to both staff and contractors in the Philippi area due to the ongoing safety threats.

Hill-Lewis said: “Our message to Philippi residents is this: we will not stop delivering services in your community, but our front-line staff are under attack and need your help.

“Use our 24-hour tip-offs hotline to report the criminals disrupting water and sanitation services and upgrades in the community. You can remain anonymous, and the City is offering a reward of up to R100,000 for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the murderers behind the attacks on our staff and contractors.

“Together we can root out the criminals blocking progress in communities.

“The City extends our heartfelt condolences to the families of two security contractor staff who so tragically lost their lives in the shooting.”

The City has set up a 24-hour hotline (0800 00 6992) and rewards system to encourage residents to help the City and authorities tackle extortion.

This forms part of a metro-wide anti-extortion campaign titled “Kwanele! Enough! Genoeg!”.

Mayco member for Water and Sanitation Zahid Badroodien said: “We as a City are shocked at the senseless act which has claimed the lives of two men hard at work serving the community.

“Arrangements have been made for staff to receive medical attention and trauma counselling. These horrendous experiences deeply impact everyone, especially those working at the forefront of service delivery.

“In hot-spot areas particularly, the City works closely with community leaders to ensure that service delivery can continue despite many challenges.

“No unrest was reported prior to the team being deployed in this instance.

“The alarming number of attacks on staff while on duty, working to maintain a dignified service standard in informal settlements, led to the City spending over R8.5 million for private security escorts in the 2023/24 financial year alone.

“Unfortunately, ruthless targeting persists and has now claimed two more innocent lives.”

Badroodien added that the latest attacks in Philippi follow recent incidents targeting staff elsewhere in the city.

On Wednesday, April 17, City staff were also robbed in two separate incidents on the same day.

In the one incident, a team was busy responding to a blocked sewage pipe in Clarke Estate, Elsies River, when one of the staff members was robbed of his cellphone.

In the second incident, a team of five was held at gunpoint and robbed of their personal belongings, including cellphones, while they were in Blue Downs attending to a burst water pipe.

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