Resident’s house a target for stray bullets

Bullet holes can be seen in windows and doors of a St Montague Village home.

A St Montague Village resident, whose house is riddled with bullet holes from the gang violence in the area, is pleading to the police for more help.

Anthony Swartz said he and his family had been living on the edge for the past three months since the upsurge of shooting in the area.

He said he doesn’t want any of his family members to get hurt and got a big fright when a stray bullet fell on his wife’s head, on Saturday May 19. “Luckily the bullet had lost its impact and my wife was not injured.”

They are shooting every day, he said, and his house has been left with bullet holes in the walls and windows.

He fears that someone is going to get seriously hurt.

Mr Swartz said all he wants is for police to tighten patrols or to station themselves in a satellite office in the area so they can see how bad the situation is.

“We have been living in the area for 30 years and these shootings are starting to get out of hand.”

Mr Swartz said he wants to move house soon because he can no longer endure the fear of being hit. “I want to find another place, then I will put my house on the market.”

He said the two police stations, Muizenberg and Steenberg, are divided on both sides of Military Road, which is the border between the two precincts. “It is sometimes difficult to decide which police station to call out because when the gangs fight they shoot from both sides.”

Southern Mail asked the two stations about what they will be doing to tighten security.

Warrant Officer John Bartlett, spokesperson for Steenberg police, said they are aware of the sporadic shootings that occur in St Montague Village, which is in Lavender Hill.

Warrant Officer Bartlett said: “Other units and law enforcement agencies are deployed in the Steenberg and Muizenberg policing areas to curb the ongoing gang violence and shooting incidents.”

Captain Stephen Knapp, spokesperson for Muizenberg police, said the police are aware of the ongoing gang incidents in the Vrygrond and surrounding areas. However, there are no satellite police stations in the area, from their station.

“Our vehicles are deployed on a 24-hour basis to the Vrygrond, Hillview and St Montagu’s Village areas in order to curb these incidents.

“The providing of information to SAPS and assistance in the form of witness statements are imperative in achieving long-term successes.”

Captain Knapp said the safety of the residents in these areas is a high priority. “We are, however, very reliant on the community to be supportive of the local police.”

Muizenberg police can be contacted on 10111 or 021 787 9000/14/15.

Residents can contact the sector commander for Lavender Hill, St Montague Village, Sergeant Grant Oakes, on 082 411 3535 or the shift commander on duty at the time at 021 702 9000.

Anyone with information about any illegal activities, are requested to contact Steenberg police at 021 702 9000.