Recent murders in Dobsonville have led to an outcry amongst
community members who say that the South African Police Services (SAPS) are failing
to serve and protect.
For many years, Dobsonville has been plagued by rampant criminal
activity. This worrying trend has, however, turned evermore deadly in recent
weeks. An open piece of land, frequently used by commuters travelling to and
from work, has been turned into a killing field – with at least two murders and
countless violent muggings occurring on the vacant plot.
Dobsonville ‘killing fields’
On Thursday, 23-year-old Kamogelo Kgala was brutally stabbed
to death on the field. According to community members, Kgala was robbed of his
belongings and received a fatal stab wound to the back of his neck. Kgala attempted
to flee the scene but collapsed and died as a result of his injuries.
This slaying follows in the wake of other attacks. Prior to Kgala’s
murder, an elderly woman, using the field as a shortcut to reach another section
of the township, was also stabbed during a robbery. She was admitted to hospital
with serious injuries and died two days later.
Community members also recently discovered the lifeless body
of a young woman, seemingly murder elsewhere, wrapped in a blanket and dumped
on the field “like garbage”. The grisly discovery, coupled with the latest killing
of Kgala, has elicited outrage from the Dobsonville community who say they are
living in fear.
Call for SAPS to better protect the community
While SAPS have confirmed that they are investigating the
murder of Kgala, a lack of arrests and active policing has further inflamed
tensions in the community.
On Monday morning, distressed community members gathered at the ‘crime hotspot’ field in peaceful protest against the murders. The march, which culminated in a prayer and wreath-laying ceremony, also called for a permanent police presence.