Fear is stalking Ocean View again after a double murder followed, just days later, by what police say was a thwarted attack on the police station.
These latest tremors in a community long troubled by gang feuding and drug-related killings, have seen a renewed call – this time from a civic group in an adjacent neighbourhood – for more intensive policing in the area.
Patrick Dowling, chairman of Kommetjie Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, said Ocean View had suffered under an unfair allocation of police resources for far too long.
“This inequality cannot continue. SAPS needs to examine its resourcing and increase officer-power and other resources to Ocean View.”
According to Ocean View police, two men, Carl “Pinter” Barendilla, 28, and Mpho Mulovedzi, 23, were shot behind the police station and Six Sisters flats at 3.30am on Monday February 26.
Station commander Lieutenant Colonel Monwabisi Buzwayo said a man had handed himself over to the police the day after the shootings. Then, just three days later, on the Thursday night, Ocean View police were tipped off that an attack was being planned on the police station.
Sergeant Leon Fortuin said the tip-off led to the attack being foiled. After hearing gunfire at the back of the station at 1.30am, officers had pursued four fleeing suspects, apprehending them in Carnation Road. The four, who are between the ages of 19 and 40, were held on drugs and weapons charges.
“The police members saw one of the suspects throwing a firearm over a wall in Carnation Road. When they went to investigate they found a Taurus .38 Special revolver with 6 live rounds of ammunition,” Sergeant Fortuin said.
An attack on the police was an “attack on democracy itself and it will not be tolerated”, he said.
Hours later, on Friday morning, a Metro ambulance crew responding to a ruse call in Ocean View were robbed of their personal possessions, according to community police forum spokeswoman Kathy Cronje.
“The increase in violent crimes has spiked once again,” Ms Cronje said.
She believes the double murder is connected to the drug trade in the area. She said she had found herself at the scene of the murder surrounded by children and had had to physically chase parents with five-year-olds home.
Parents and teenagers had sworn at her when she told them to leave.
“We can never be certain of safety in a situation which has already ended in bloodshed and murder and it is damaging and traumatic for children to be exposed to such violent scenes,” Ms Cronje said.
Several Ocean View residents said they were too afraid to comment on the latest killings. One said that by speaking out she would be risking both her life and those of her family.
“These guys don’t play around; they come to your door and shoot to kill,” she said.
Mr Dowling called on the authorities to”bring lawfulness and peace for our neighbours”.
Provincial government, SAPS and the City needed to work with the Ocean View community and civic groups on a “detailed plan of action” that should be made public “so our communities can be assured that you are taking concerted action”.
Mr Dowling said the City should install CCTV cameras in Ocean View as these were “ a proven deterrent to crime”.
Ocean View police station, he said, was also considerably under-resourced compared to other stations in the Far South. That gap needed to be closed.
Johann Kikillus, of Soteria Ministries and Ocean View Care Centre, said the neighbourhood had been woken by gunfire on the morning of the killings.
“Within a short while, I was informed that it was at Six Sisters flats and next to the police station,” he said.
He got to the scene at 7.30am, and he said it was soon apparent that the shootings had stirred up past trauma for many.
“We dealt with a number of cases at Ocean View Care Centre of people who were traumatised by the shooting. We have been through a period of relative peace recently, but to have a double murder in the morning has brought up feelings of fear amongst many people,” he said.
He urged parents not to let their children near crime scenes.
“They are too young to process what has happened and this can cause severe trauma and anxiety,” he said.
There will be counselling at Ocean View Care Centre on Tuesday mornings for anyone struggling to cope with the latest violence.
“We all pray that there will not be revenge killings as the community has suffered enough,” he said.