The Daily Voice was called out to an armed robbery at Town Centre Mall in Mitchells Plain and experienced first hand what traders and shoppers go through every day, when two skelms tried to rob our photographer.
But Ayanda Ndamane fought back and not only managed to get his camera back, but also had the would-be thieves arrested.
On Saturday, a Chinese national was robbed at gunpoint at his business, and his cellphone and R3 000 cash were taken.
Furious community leaders and traders, Jasmine Harris, Salama Petersen and Shirely Hamit, who have been waging a war with criminal elements at the centre, contacted the Daily Voice, saying they were fed up with crime and threatened to “burn down” kiosks where they claim drugs are being traded.
Jasmine led the way to a known crime hotspot, including two barber shops, and confronted the men, mostly foreigners.
“We are going to close you down like we closed down Shorty (a take-aways),” she shouted.
However, two of the men started kicking, pushing and shoving the group of elderly ladies around.
The ladies fought back, and as our photographer took photos of the scene, the men turned on him.
They claimed they were not part of the drug dealing and were merely there to buy some lunch.
But as Ayanda turned to leave, the men pounced, grabbing his camera.
“I was turning to leave when the one kicked me from behind and came flying towards me, asking why I am taking pictures,”explains Ayanda.
“The other one with the short hair grabbed my camera. As I was fighting off his friend, I grabbed my camera backpack.
“The one wanted to headbutt me and I was surrounded, I began hitting them with my bag and grabbed a bucket from the ground.”
Ayanda fought the men off, punching and doing flying kicks. He scraped his knee on the ground, and his camera was also damaged.
This reporter saw two law enforcement officers witnessing the attack but they did nothing to assist.
The Daily Voice saw the suspects later at the Mitchells Plain police station when we wanted to open a case.
The suspects were apparently there to open a case of assault against Jasmine and the ladies.
Cops listened to both sides and decided to arrest the suspects, and a case of robbery was opened.
Jasmine says this is a taste of what they experience daily: “This is why we are fed up, the police watch the crimes but do nothing.
“We are saying if the police and law enforcement do not do anything, we will burn them down.”
Mitchells Plain Police Station Commander, Brigadier Cass Goolam, has promised to have a meeting with Daily Voice to discuss crime in the Town Centre and what they are doing to curb it.