Sunday, 23 August 2009

Residents flee homes in fear of thugs

Lauren Cohen

Published:Aug 20, 2009

IN THE wake of Farmall resident Tracey-Leigh Frankish’s murder, a fellow resident tells how the northern Johannesburg community lives in fear of “marauding gangs”.

Jerry de Beer, who lives on a plot not far from where burglars shot and killed Frankish, 33, last weekend, told The Times that the single mother’s murder was the second in the area in just two weeks.

“Marius Labuschagne, living on a plot in a caravan, was murdered on August 1. Only his cellphone was taken,” De Beer said.

“Residents are living in absolute fear every night as the marauding gangs go about their deeds unhindered,” he said.

De Beer has been keeping track of crime in his area and his records show that there have been nine armed robberies and 27 burglaries in the area this year alone.

“Barely half of the 114 plots in Farmall are occupied; residents are starting to abandon their properties out of fear and desperation.

“We have no means to protect ourselves — normal electric fences, beams and alarms are not a deterrent anymore.

“Even armed response when activated cannot guarantee that you will survive an attack from these ruthless, murdering thieves,” De Beer said.

And the police, he claims, are not pulling their weight because they have failed to investigate three armed robberies committed on his property alone.

Balan Muthan, spokesman for the Douglasdale police, who are responsible for the area, said extra police officers and vehicles had been brought in.

“We have also stepped up the number of patrols and the mounted unit is coming in,” Muthan said.

“The problem is that the plots are so big and there are many trees. If there are people hiding on the properties, you can’t see them.”

Source:The Times

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