Authorities say a war between rival gangs over drug turf is behind a spate of murders in Delft, which yesterday claimed its ninth victim in just five days.
The violence started on Friday and claimed its youngest victim, four-year-old Macheano Geswindt, on Sunday night, after he was shot in the stomach. Two other people were wounded in the same incident.
Police sources confirm that six people have been stabbed to death, and three shot and killed, including a double murder on Monday.
In the latest incident yesterday morning, a man was stabbed in his neck by two unknown suspects in Hindle Road, Voorbrug.
In response the Delft Community, along with police and community safety MEC Dan Plato, took to the streets to protest against the violence.
Plato also visited Macheano’s family, where he called for justice for the little boy.
Macheano was playing in his front yard when gunmen opened fire on a group of men sitting around a bonfire in Delft Main Road.
The house is a suspected drug den.
Macheano’s grandma Cecelia Geswindt says they don’t know how he was hit.
“We can’t say what happened because we were all inside,” she says.
Plato told the child’s sobbing mother, Natasha Geswindt, 32, and father Martin Beyers, 40: “This is so hard because it’s a four-year-old. We feel it with you. Delft South does not know this kind of violence.
“We can only call on police to make sure that the people who are giving these orders get behind bars.
“This was one child too many.”
He later told the media that the Terrible Josters and 28s gangs are at the centre of the violence.
“The 28s and Terribles are at loggerheads,” he says.
“You find them in Elsies, Leonsdale, Uitsig, Belhar, and now here. They move into areas to broaden their drug turf.
“That’s what it’s all about. The 28s and the Terribles want to out one another for each other’s drug turf.
“Drugs are currently the main cause of the gang violence in our communities.”
Delft community policing forum chairperson Jamiel Spannenberg said measures have been put in place to increase police visibility in Delft South.
“It is totally unacceptable what has been happening here for the past few weeks with the gangs and violence,” he says.
“Innocent children are dying and we have to come to a point where we draw the line, this shouldn’t happen.”