SAPS calls for community support to curb Mariannhill crime

SAPS calls for community support to curb Mariannhill crime

Investigators are urging community members in Mariannhill to come forward with information that could assist the police in curbing crime in the area.

Gcinokuhle Malinga

 Police Minister Bheki Cele held an imbizo with locals on Thursday after officers killed nine suspects in a shootout on Wednesday morning.

They've been linked to 26 cases, including murder, house robbery and rape.Two remain on the run. Police recovered four firearms on Thursday.

 The shootout's drawn mixed reactions from members of the community. 

 The owner of the house suspected of being used as a hideout says he lost his son and nephew who was visiting the Desai area.

 “What breaks my heart is hearing reports that they retaliated but no weapons were found near him. Yes, some of his friends were bad people... they mugged people, that I'm certain about.”

 “However, it's not true that they were hitmen, so what happened really broke me. It would have been better if they were arrested because they were not refusing arrest. When I tried to go inside the house yesterday police blocked me.”

Cele: Slain Mariannhill suspects ‘linked to more crimes’

 Cele also visited the mother of a 24-year-old woman - whose daughter was raped, alleged by the gang during a home invasion in February. She said some of the suspects who robbed her family were the ones killed on Wednesday.

 “There was six of them that entered the house. I know them all, they all grew up in this neighbourhood.  One of them, who was unmasked, pleaded with my daughter to give the gang cell phones, money and anything valuable so they would not hurt us, so she did. Then they all left, but one of them stayed behind and that's when the rape happened.”

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