Community outcry over high crime rate

Kelly Chetty in happier times.

The violent crime wave that has swept through Durban and surrounding areas and the recent brutal killing of Avoca resident, Kelly Chetty, have prompted the immediate intervention of the MEC of Safety and Security, Mxolisa Kaunda and Police Minister Bheki Cele. Chetty’s death comes after nine-year-old Sadia Sukhraj was killed in a botched hijacking in Shallcross.  While family and friends of these two victims are still mourning, the conversation of the brutal killings continue to spark the wrath of the community.

Kelly Chetty and his family in happier times.

Chetty was shot dead in a botched hijacking in Umhlangane Road, Avoca, last week. He was ambushed by an armed gang, who shot him dead in full view of his two children who were inside his VW Golf R. The suspects allegedly robbed a vegetable shop, before attempting to flee in his vehicle. However, they failed to take his vehicle and hijacked another car in the vicinity and fled the scene. Two of the three suspects were shot dead at the KwaMashu Hostel the next morning after police tracked down the car taken in the hijacking. The third suspect was injured and hospitalised. The father of two who owned a logistics company was also a DJ, and a well known figure in the community.

Following the tragic incident, a community meeting attended by Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay, deputy mayor, Fawzia Peer, representatives from the Department of  Community Safety and Liaison, CPF members and residents was held at Effingham Secondary School on Friday. The meeting addressed the crime rate in the area. MEC Pillay said residents should stick together during this time as crime knows no race. “We have to stick together and fight crime. The battle against crime is on going, and we have to be organised and form police forums in the community. Every death is one too many,” he said. Ward 34 Councillor, Dr Bobby Maharajh, said there are no overnight answers to crime questions and now is the time to walk the talk and do the work. “I have personally written to the relevant authorities requesting protection for the community through Umhlangane Road as it is easy for criminals to gain access and leave the area.  We have been told that the police force is short-staffed and there are limited resources. The laws have to change and also protect the victims instead of protecting the perpetrators. The victims need more protection. Residents have had enough of crime,” he said.  Greenwood Park SAPS communications officer, Sgt Vincent Mthembu, said they will be using all available resources to combat crime in the area.
A snake patrol and a placard demonstration was also held this past weekend to highlight the plight against gun violence and to honour the victims’ lives.
Many friends and family members took to Facebook to express their shock on Chetty’s untimely death. Riaan Govender wrote, “It’s with deep sadness that we have to say good bye. We lost a brother, a friend , a husband, a son, a father . A person that was loved for by many. A person that was always available to lend a helping hand and give his time to others. You will be sadly missed and never forgotten Kelly Chetty . While your journey on earth has ended, you have left many imprints to each and very person that your kind soul has touched.” Chetty was laid to rest at the Clare Estate Crematorium on Saturday, June 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  AUTHOR
Zola Phoswa
Journalist

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