Ocean View residents are demanding answers from the police, following a chilling double murder, which is only the latest in a string of shootings.
Police have arrested four men for the execution-style slaying of friends Tony Hartzenberg, 31, and Shagun O’Malley, 32. Their bodies were found in a park in Comet Road on Thursday April 20. They had both been shot several times in the head.
Police have called the killings “gang-related” and linked to a drug turf war in the community.
Residents were due to meet Ocean View station commander Lieutenant Colonel Errol Merkeur last night, Wednesday April 26, to demand better policing in the community.
The deaths of Mr Hartzenberg and Mr O’Malley bring to four the number of people killed in Ocean View this month.
“The last case of the double murder was the only gang-related case, with the other two not found to be gang related,” Lieutenant Colonel Merkeur told the Echo.
On December 30 last year, 6-month-old Zahnia Woodward was shot in a drive-by shooting.
Ocean View Community Police Forum member Kathy Cronje said there appeared to be no end in sight to the violence that has gripped the community.
Johann Kilkillus of Soteria Ministries has spoken out strongly about the state of the Ocean View community.
“It is very tragic to report that the shootings and murders that Ocean View experienced last year have continued. Sadly, there have been a number of murders and almost daily shootings since January. As always, families are too scared speak out for fear of revenge,” he said.
He said many in the community were too afraid to leave their homes.
“We have had an increase of traumatised people, especially young children who are struggling to cope with life and are withdrawing into their shells,” he said.
He said the community was angry and frustrated by what it felt was inadequate policing. “It is an issue that has been raised for many years with SAPS, the Department of Community Safety and law enforcement. And yet, very little has been done to improve visible policing,” he said.
Many attacks had happened outside the school gates and in full view of pupils.
“The same goes with the clinic and the library which have had to close their doors on several occasions,” Mr Kilkillus said.
Many in the community were traumatised and not getting the support they needed.
“What is needed is healing and restoration. Over the past 6 years, I have sat down with dozens of grieving mothers, fathers and family members. My concern is that many of these families do not receive proper support as they often withdraw. As a result, they are not able to grieve properly or receive trauma debriefing and counselling,” he said.
Mr Kilkillus said he had worked with hundreds of gangsters, prisoners and ex-convicts over the past 12 years and none of them had become a “violent hitman” overnight.
“ It is usually as a result of a very difficult childhood and often where there has been abuse, neglect or poor role models. All of these men grow up under the watchful eye of neighbours, teachers, pastors and elders. They normally are ostracised and rejected by society which is why it is so easy for them to run into the arms of a gang,” he said.
A community destroyed by gangs had to take “a long hard look at itself”, he said.
“Why do these kids fall through the system? Does our social services and education departments pick them up or are they just spewed out into the streets? In my honest opinion, our young people have been dealt a raw deal by the very system that is supposed to protect and care for them.”
Chan-lin O’Malley, the sister of Shagun O’Malley, posted on the Ocean View Slangkop Facebook site to thank everyone for their support and condolences.
Shagun’s funeral is at St Clairs Anglican Church, on Saturday April 29, at 11.30am.