Hundreds to march in Cape Town over 11 killed in Philippi

Social Justice Coalition says Marikana community is in crisis

Hundreds to march in Cape Town over 11 killed in Philippi

5 October 2017

Cape Town – Hundreds of people are expected to march in the Cape Town CBD on Thursday morning in solidarity with the families of the 11 people who were killed during a shooting in the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi on Friday evening.

In a Twitter post, the Social Justice Coalition said the march would start at the Cape Town Civic Centre and head to the police's provincial offices.

The march is set to start at 11:00.

"The Marikana community is in crisis. Poor, working-class black people are being killed in their homes," the organisation said.

Four people were reportedly shot dead inside the tavern on Friday evening when four men started shooting.

One person died outside the structure, two between the shacks and one person succumbed to their injuries in hospital.

Eyewitness Kwanele Nyamakazi said he was inside the tavern at about 18:00 when he heard a brick, or some other hard object, being thrown against the zinc of the shack.

"[Some people] tried to go out to see what it was but there were men there and they told them to get back inside," he told News24.

"The men (shooters) came in and just fired randomly."

Nyamakazi said he hid behind the pool table.

New station commander

On Saturday morning, an estimated 100 residents stormed the Philippi East police station demanding better policing in the area.

Marikana has been singled out as an area very difficult to police because the densely packed shacks severely limit access for police vehicles and there are no street lights.

On Monday, police said four people were arrested in the settlement following the murders.

The arrests took place during an overnight police operation in the area, spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said in a statement.

A firearm confiscated during the operation has been sent for ballistic testing to determine if it has been used in a crime.

On Tuesday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula visited the informal settlement and announced that the command at the police station had been changed because the community no longer trusted police.

Former commander Colonel Vuyisile Payi was not suspected of any wrongdoing, but a drastic change was needed to restore trust, Mbalula said.