Mothers bury their sons

A cross in Milky Way marks the spot where Christopher Koopman was gunned down.

The streets of Ocean View have become a bloodbath after a sudden surge in suspected gang-related violence claimed the lives of five men in less than a month.

The latest killing was in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Eugen van Collor was gunned down in Eagle Street.

Two crosses in Milky Way mark the spots where Dylan “Bibo” Montgomery and Christopher “Jet” Koopman were shot dead within weeks of each other, one on Tuesday June 19 and the other last week Thursday July 5.

Dalton Williams was gunned down on the corner of Jupiter Avenue and Lyra Road, in the early hours of Saturday June 30 .

A resident, who didn’t want to be named out of fear for his safety, said he believed the killings were gang-related.

The week before Mr Williams’s death, another young man, Leroy Mileham, was shot dead in Libra Way on Sunday June 24.

“It was all head wounds,” the man said.

Founder of the Ocean View Care Centre, Johann Kikillus, said residents were traumatised and afraid.

There had been a spike in gang shootings since the start of the school holidays and calls for more police to be deployed in the area had lit up social media.

“For some reason this plea has fallen on deaf ears for years. In every gang-ridden community that I have worked in across Cape Town since 2004, the outcry over lack of visible policing has largely been ignored by national government,” he said.

Mr Kikillus added that he would like to meet with other interested parties to discuss ways to address the root causes of the ongoing violence in Ocean View.

About 200 residents gathered at the Ocean View police station on Sunday July 8 to protest over the killings, and they handed a memorandum to station commander Lieutenant Colonel Monwabisi Buzwayo.

Some carried placards saying “Ocean View lives matter” and “Why should parents bury these kids?”

Their memorandum called for CCTV cameras, visible policing, better lighting in dark areas, more resources from national government and a curfew from 9.30pm to 3am.

“This police station is your police station, and you are welcome here anytime,” Lieutenant Colonel Buzwayo told them, but the crowd pointed out that the welcome mat gets withdrawn at 9pm when the station closes.

Lieutenant Colonel Buzwayo said the memorandum would be handed over to senior police management who would address it.

He said police provincial management had a plan for Ocean View and it would be presented to the community at a meeting to be held today, Thursday July 12, at 6.30pm, at the civic centre. The demands listed in the memorandum would also be discussed.

He confirmed the murders of Mr Williams and Mr Montgomery but said he was unsure when the others were murdered.

Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock said although policing was national government’s responsibility, the City would do what it could to help, including improving lighting in the area.

Mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith, said the City spent R60 million a year fighting gang violence.

He said the City had deployed various specialised policing units to find drugs and guns and had trained thousands of neighbourhood watches across Cape Town.

“We have a strategy that is already yielding results, and with the extra budget during the last budgetary process, we will be able to put more officers on the ground,” he said.

Provincial police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said police were investigating the latest shootings in Ocean View; the killers were still at large. He did not say if the murders were gang-related.

The Echo asked for the latest murder statistics in Ocean View, but he said he could not divulge that data.

Lieutenant Colonel Buzwayo said Milky Way and the area around the library and multi-purpose centre was a crime hot spot. He said he had been at the crime scene on Thursday July 5 and despite many residents being in the vicinity there were no eyewitnesses or any information from the community.

At the time of going to print, the murder of Mr Van Collor could not be confirmed with police.