Organised crime detectives are investigating the deaths of three Zimbabwean nationals whose bodies were found in Mbekweni, Paarl.
Paarl is a town of 112 000 inhabitants in the Western Cape. Due to the growth of the Mbekweni township, it is now a de facto urban unit with Wellington
The police have called for anyone with information related to the shootings to contact their nearest police station.
Provincial police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said the detectives were probing the murders after police were called out to Sakhelwe Street at about 5am on Sunday.
“One body was lying inside the vehicle, another behind the same vehicle, and the third one inside a shack on the premises. The ages of the deceased people are 30, 33 and 40. Their identities will be released once their next of kin have been informed,” he said.
Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen said he was deeply disturbed by the incident and raised concern that these mass murders might become the norm for rural towns in the Western Cape.
Multiple shootings have been reported in the region since the start of this year.
“Not so long ago, we were faced with a similar shooting in Tulbagh. Our rural towns are not known for these types of horrendous crimes, and it cannot become the norm. We dare not allow this lawlessness to take root and continue.
“We need to flush out all aspects of criminality and take our communities back,” Allen said.
Drakenstein Municipality community services executive director Gerald Esau said law enforcement was a challenge in Drakenstein as in any other region in South Africa.
They had established the Drakenstein Smart Safety Network, where the municipality’s Law Enforcement division worked with safety and security partners to share intelligence, plan and execute joint operations and patrols to curb crime and maintain order
Ian Cameron, director of Community Safety of non-profit organisation Action Society, said: “If I look at these shootings and the time I spent in Mbekweni, I don’t find it (the fatalities) surprising.
“I think Mbekweni has very serious violent criminals that reside there. We are actually involved in a few cases there but those are more gender-based violence related,” he said. – IOL