S. African ruling party urges probe into mass killings in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN, Oct. 3– South Africa’s ruling African National
Congress (ANC) on Saturday called for an urgent probe into the killing of
11 people in Cape Town.

This came after 11 people were shot dead in the informal settlement of
Marikana on Friday night. The ANC “condemns in the harshest possible
terms” the mass murders, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.The 11
people were killed in several shooting incidents in Marikana which is
notorious for crime linked to rivalry among different gangs. In the first
incident, unknown suspects fired shots inside a shebeen, fatally wounding
four people, police’s Captain FC van Wyk said.

In the second scene, three more were shot dead in a shack and one outside
the dwelling, said Van Wyk. Not far from the second scene, two more bodies
were found lying between the shacks, he said. Two other people who
sustained injuries had to be taken to hospital, said Van Wyk. But one of
the injured died later in hospital, bringing the death toll to 11, police
said. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the
shootings. “While the details around these deaths are still not quite
clear, regardless of the circumstances these mass murders – related or not
– are criminal acts which must be punished using the full might of our
law,” Kodwa said.

It is suspected that rivalry among different gangs has led to the
shootings.Some impoverished settlements in Cape Town, including Marikana,
have been plagued by gang-related violence. Also in Marikana, the charred
bodies of three men were discovered earlier this month. This incident was
also believed to be linked to gang-related violence. Elsewhere, gang
violence also escalated. On Tuesday night, seven people were shot dead in
the Nyanga area, Cape Town. These incidents highlight the seriousness of
gang fighting in impoverished areas in the city, police said.

Residents in the affected areas have appealed to Police Minister Fikile
Mbalula to intervene. The ANC calls on the affected communities and anyone
else to come forward with any information they may have to assist police in
apprehending the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, Kodwa said.
“Criminals live amongst our communities, they are harbored by us and until
society stands as one against this scourge it will not be defeated,” he
said. Some areas in Cape Town have been ravaged by gangs for long. Every
year, dozens of people are killed in gang violence. In November 2011,
South African authorities sent in army troops to quell gangs following
rising gang-related violence.\ Authorities have mediated a series of peace
agreements between gangs, but the agreements can not last long. – XINHUA