Saturday, May 18, 2024


Extortionists kill two security guards at Cape Town sewer repair site

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Two security guards escorting City of Cape Town staff attending to a sewer pipe repair in Philippi’s Phola Park were killed by local extortionists on Tuesday.

The City of Cape Town said the armed security guards had driven to the site in Phola Park in their own company vehicle, while a city vehicle transported five operational staff.

“On arrival, the teams disembarked to gather tools and inspect the pipe. While busy, two armed men approached the city vehicle and another two headed to the toilet block where multiple shots were fired.”

“While the city staff and residents fled to safety, sadly both private security guards passed away. A female city staff member was also injured from a hard fall.”

The city said various city services were severely affected by criminal attacks in parts of Philippi, including Kosovo informal settlement where a stormwater upgrading project is underway.

“Tactical response and security escort services are being provided to both staff and contractors in the Philippi area due to the ongoing safety threats.”

The city is offering a R100000 reward for information leading to the perpetrators’ arrest.

‘Our message to Philippi residents is this: we will not stop delivering services in your community, but our frontline staff are under attack and need your help. Use our 24-hour tip-off hotline to report the criminals disrupting water and sanitation services and upgrades in the community. You can remain anonymous and the city is offering a reward of up to R100 000 for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the murderers behind the attacks on our staff and contractors. Together we can root out the criminals blocking progress in communities.

‘The city extends our heartfelt condolences to the families of two security contractor staff, who so tragically lost their lives in the shooting in Phola Park, Phillippi,’ said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. 

Councillor Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for water and sanitation no unrest was reported before the team was deployed in the area.  

“The alarming number of attacks on staff while on duty, working to maintain a dignified service standard in informal settlements, led to the city spending over R8,5 million for private security escorts in the 2023/24 financial year alone. Unfortunately, ruthless targeting persists and has now claimed two more innocent lives,” he said.

He added that the latest attack followed other incidents targeting staff elsewhere in the city.

“On Wednesday 17 April, city staff were also robbed in two separate incidents on the same day. In the one incident, a team was busy responding to a blocked sewer pipe in Clarke Estate, Elsies River when one of the staff was robbed of his cellphone.”

“In the second incident, a team of five was held at gunpoint and robbed of their personal belongings including cellphones while they were in Blue Downs attending to a burst water pipe.”

In a report on Wednesday, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) said Cape Town was the hardest hit by extortion in South Africa. Read more here.



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