A foreign national shop owner is fighting for his life in a hospital in East London after he was allegedly gunned down at his shop in Khayelitsha by an unknown suspect(s) on January 29.
According to a neighbour who did not want to be named, community members were woken by a gun shot and hysterical cries after 10pm that night. “The man usually closes his shop at 10pm. I was woken by screams and a gun shot. When I stepped outside to find out what was going on, I saw the man lying on the ground near his car which was parked in the yard. A crowd had already assembled and he was holding a cell phone when he told us he had been shot. People called both the ambulance and the police. We could see he was dying so one of the neighbours drove the victim’s car and rushed him to hospital as neither the ambulance nor the police had arrived.”
The Rep spoke to the victim’s younger brother, Erimias Alamo, who said the news had come as a shock as he was in Durban when the incident took place. “He was shot in the abdomen and transferred to East London. He is in a critical state. He does not speak, he does not eat, his leg is swollen. Seeing him in that condition is heartbreaking. He has had the shop for three years and nothing like this has ever happened. We don’t know who might have done this. Nothing was stolen from the shop,” said Alamo.
Nomaza Tshirana, a neighbour, complained about the safety of residents and the lack of transparency by the police. “We live in complete darkness in this area, street lights do not work. Secondly, the station commander gave us his number but he never picks up our calls and never gets back to us. No one answers calls at the Mlungisi police station either. We are scared and not safe. How do we get a hold of the police when we need them?” asked Tshirana.
Another member of the community, Nomabotwe Mtshatsheni, said a police vehicle with two officers arrived hours later. “I was disappointed at how they handled the situation. The two (a male and a female) did not even bother to get out of the vehicle. Instead, one was busy on her phone. They did not even help to look for the gun cartridge. Instead they drove off and we were helped by people from Red Guard.”
Police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni said police in Mlungisi were investigating a case of attempted murder. “It is alleged that the victim was on his way home after closing his shop when he was shot by unknown people. A case of attempted murder was opened and the victim was taken to Frontier Hospital and later transferred to East London. Police appeal to anyone who can assist in arresting the perpetrators to contact colonel Bulelwa Lembese on 082-441 8178 or 086-001 0111.”