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‘We’ve seen people die like flies’: Mabuyane calls for joint effort to end Eastern Cape ‘massacres’

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.

PHOTO: Lulama Zenzile, Gallo Images/Die Burger

  • Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said the mass killings in the province amounted to massacres.
  • He visited the families of eight people who were shot dead in KwaZakhele in Gqeberha on Sunday.
  • Mabuyane called on residents and the police to work together in the fight against crime.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has described the mass killings in the province as massacres and called for joint efforts between residents and law enforcement agencies to eradicate the attacks.

Mabuyane spoke to journalists after visiting the homes of several people who were shot dead at a house party in KwaZakhele, Gqeberha, on Sunday.

How safe is your neighbourhood? Find out by using News24’s CrimeCheck

“We have to stop this problem in Nelson Mandela Bay. We have seen people die like flies, unaccounted for. These are not just killings. It’s a massacre when people just come and kill this number of people at once. We have never been like this in this province,” he added.

Mabuyane said while the provincial government acknowledged the trust deficit between communities and the police, law enforcement agencies needed residents’ support to function effectively in their crime-fighting efforts.

“Police need people to come forward. We will never develop this province if crime escalates the way it is now,” he said.

In the latest incident, eight people were killed and three injured in a mass shooting at a house party in KwaZakhele, Gqeberha.

READ | Eight people killed, three injured as gunmen attack guests at house party in Gqeberha

The homeowner Vusumzi Sishuba was killed alongside Andile Sishuba, 52; Kholekile France, 54; Mbuyiseli Mboya, 64; Nomatamsanqa Mandla, 58; Liyema Poro, 20; and Nandipha Koliti, 42.

Police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu, said the police had not yet identified the eighth victim, a man. She added that the search for the assailants was ongoing. Police are investigating eight murder cases and three of attempted murder.

Forensic Pathology Services on scene of shooting

Forensic Pathology Services stand near their vehicles on the scene of a mass shooting in Gqeberha.

AFP PHOTO: Luvuyo Mehlwana, AFP

On Monday, during his visit to the families of victims of the latest mass shooting, Police Minister Bheki Cele said police would work hard to find the killers.

The Eastern Cape has been the scene of several shooting incidents in which multiple people were killed. This includes the killing of seven family members, who were gunned down in Tantseka village, Bityi, in November.

The family had gathered to mourn a slain relative when unknown gunmen stormed into their home and demanded R5 000 that was paid by the burial society.

In another incident, three men aged 26, 31 and 41, were shot dead at a tavern in Bityi. Three people, aged between 23 and 29, were hospitalised after sustaining gunshot wounds.

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