Fear grips settlement after three slain

Police are investigating after three people were gunned down in Victoria Lodge informal settlement

Fear has taken hold of the Victoria Lodge informal settlement next to the M5 after three men were shot dead there.

Police called to the scene on Wednesday night March 30 found the victims, aged 43, 43 and 47, lying face down on the ground. They had each been shot in the head.

Provincial police spokeswoman Brigadier Novela Potelwa says they believe killers stopped their vehicles close by at 10pm before proceeding on foot, carrying torches, to confront their victims.

After firing several shots, they melted into the night and are still at large.

Police say the motive for the killings is unknown.

Residents say the killers have since returned to the community as they missed their intended targets.

“The gunmen who arrived shot the father of the person who was actually targeted along with two friends. They were looking for a relative who is affiliated with gangs,” said a resident who did not want to be named.

“They come late at night and look for the person. They’ve threatened to burn down the structures and kick down our doors if they can’t find the people they are looking for. We fear for our lives.”

The source said one or two residents in the area had recently become affiliated to gangs.

“We are only 20 families living here and are very close. We used to be able to sit outside by the fire, but now everyone is in their places by 6pm because of all the strange faces that come to our place. It is dangerous and we want those people to be removed from our community and for their structures to be thrown down. We cannot go on living like this.”

Ward councillor Kevin Southgate said he had asked City officials to monitor the situation and check that no more dwellings were built at the site.

“But it would appear that people have added onto their structures, and they allowed new people to move onto the property. That seems to have been the start to the problems that we have there now.”

He said he would address the residents’ concerns and ask the police to provide them with trauma counselling.

Anyone with information about the killings can contact Crime Stop at ‪08600 10111.