Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Violent Crime in Informal Settlement

Gift Rampai

23rd April 2022


We live in an informal settlement called Covid deriving its name from the pandemic because it was erected in 2020 prior to the Covid outbreak


The area is populated mainly by youth and young adults who no longer see it fit to stay with their parents. In the space of four months the  area has bore witness to three murders in a similar violent manner. The ages of the victims range from 28 to 40. Crime is very high as well as unemployment in this area and the sound of whistles in the middle of the night is a common occurrence as the area has not been proclaimed and there are no police patrol or any services.

The first incident involved a love triangle between two men and a young woman in January, the community was awoken by the quarrel of people fighting outside. Upon arrival at the scene a body of a young man was discovered lying in a pool of blood and he was declared dead by the paramedics


The second incident was the discovery of the body of a man in his 40s who was known in the community and killers are still to be found, he was the sole breadwinner for his family and he was employed by the local tyre firm in Welkom.


In the third murder we had a couple who went on a drinking spree and only to have a quarrel later and knife was pulled that led to the young man to be stabbed several times and the girlfriend could not explain exactly how he died and leading the community to attack her in what can be described as mob justice. This occurred in full view of the police and they had to intervene to save the woman.


Two of these cases are still under investigation and the suspects have appeared before court


The conditions in this area depict a nation without any hope for the future and illustrate the impact of hardships facing communities that were dependent on the mining industry for livelihood and the closure of mines brought mayhem and disaster.


The community tends to blame the foreigners who are also residing in the area and mainly Lesotho nationals because they are known for their gang related tendencies and attacking locals for no particular reasons