Gangs hold ‘graveyard’hostage

The structure where the couple's bodies were found.

Residents of Village Heights have dubbed the informal settlement in Hillview “the graveyard” because of the murders that have taken place in the community.

The most recent murder is that of a couple who were found shot and killed in a structure at the informal settlement in the early hours of Thursday October 18.

Francis Adendolf, 48, was in the toilet and Conrad ‘Worsie’ George, 40, was lying in bed in the structure in 4th Avenue when they were shot several times in the face, chest and head at about 12.30am. Both died on the scene. The couple had been together for 10 years.

The door to the couple’s home was kicked open and they were ambushed.

Mr George’s mother, Julia Samson, who lives a few doors away from where they couple were shot, said she didn’t hear any gunshots.

“One of my children came in and said Francis had been shot. Then I asked where Worsie was and they came back with the bad news that Worsie had been shot too,” said Ms Samson.

She said her son lived with her but slept at the structure with Ms Adendolf that evening.

“He was not a gangster and he did not deserve to die like this. He was a lovely person and tried to be the best father to his three children. He was mischievous because he did drugs but he didn’t deserve this. The people responsible for this must be caught and brought to justice,” she said.

Ms Adendolf’s sister, Gabrille Rhoda, blamed police for the deaths. “My sister would not be dead today if the police did their job. I say that is because I went to the police to ask for protection for them or to send them to a safe house because they had been targeted before and were shot at before,” said Ms Rhoda.

She said her sister and her boyfriend were drug users but were not gangsters. “Gangsters forced their way into their home because they took them as easy targets because they were drug users.”

Resident Igshaan Stout said there were shootings every day at all hours of the day. “Police don’t come in here; we see them once in a blue moon and there’s a police base camp right down the road but they can’t protect us. I stopped working as a taxi driver a few months ago because I was too afraid I would get shot and killed. These gangsters are killing more and more innocent people,” said Mr Stout.

Fatima Stout, who looks after children from the community said; “This is not Hillview anymore – this is the graveyard because so many bodies have been carried out here because of gang shootings. All we want is peace and to be able to walk to the shop without fearing that we will be shot dead in the street.

“I can’t even let the children I look after play outside because I’m too scared they will get shot.”

Community worker Aysha Davids said the community was being held hostage by the gangsters. “People can’t go to work, can’t drive or walk around. The situation is intense and not much is being done by police. We need more intervention because things are only getting worse.

“Conrad was a good person who did odd jobs in the area and helped wherever he could. Innocent people’s lives are being taken and it needs to stop,” said Ms Davids.

Steenberg police spokesperson, Constable Wesley Twigg, confirmed the shooting and said the double murder was being investigated. “The suspect(s) is unknown and yet to be arrested,” he said.

Constable Twigg added that there were no formal complaints logged by the family and he could not confirm whether the couple had any gang affiliations. “We are following up on all possible leads to bring the perpetrator(s) to book,” he said.

Anyone with any information about this shooting incident can contact Steenberg SAPS on 021 702 9000 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.