Friday, 28 July 2006

Muldersdrift attacks 'normal'

26/07/2006 13:29 - (SA)

Johannesburg - A spate of violent attacks in Muldersdrift had "stabilised" despite the murder of a man outside his house in a hijacking, West Rand police said on Wednesday.

"There are attacks; no different from other areas. They do happen, but seldom," said Captain Siphiwe Ndlovu.

Two hijackers attacked businessman Leon Naude, 48, while a colleague was dropping him off at his home at 19:15 on Monday, Ndlovu confirmed.

They opened fire, shooting Naude five times in the face and upper body. He died on the scene. The robbers fled in the silver and green Volvo 4x4. It was later found abandoned four kilometres away.

Police would be intensifying visibility in the area, he said.

They had already implemented a sectoral policing system under which the area was divided into smaller parts to improve police reaction times and visibility. They were also actively recruiting reservists and involving the community policing forums.

Two or three times a month, the police identified hotspots and conducted stop-and-search, roadblocks and helicopter drop-and-pick operations.

While he could not disclose how many attacks had taken place in Muldersdrift so far this year, and whether the number of attacks had decreased, he was adamant that the measures were "helping".

The police promised to step up patrols in the area in November after Sylvia Hart, 84, and her husband Harold Hart, 88, were found dead on their farm. Both had sustained multiple wounds from an unknown object.

Their murder came just days after the owner of a smallholding shot dead a robber - and after a series of violent attacks.

In August, the 48-year-old owner of a plot in Muldersdrift shot dead one of his former employees who was allegedly part of a gang trying to rob the smallholding.

In July, three robbers shot and wounded two United States filmmakers at a guest house in Muldersdrift. In June, a man survived being shot in the forehead during a house robbery in the same area.

In April, Ulrich Lange, 81, was murdered on his smallholding in the area.

In May a Muldersdrift resident, Michael Clarke, put his house on the market after being robbed for the fifth time.

The Clarke family was attacked in its kitchen, barely three weeks after Michael Clarke, 16, was shot in the neck in an ambush outside the house.

In another incident that month, a gang of four robbers shot and injured 65-year-old Chris Klein after overpowering his daughter, Sanet du Plessis, 34, and a friend.


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