Tears flow for mur­dered five

The Herald (South Africa) - - News - Naz­iziphiwo Buso bu­son@ti­soblack­star.co.za

An emo­tional prayer ser­vice at the Bethels­dorp po­lice sta­tion for the fam­i­lies of five peo­ple killed in shoot­ings at the week­end left the sta­tion in a som­bre mood on Tues­day.

Fam­ily mem­bers of Ruaan Willemse, 8, Dea­con van Rooyen, 14, and Chad­win Calvert, 17, of Booy­sen Park, as well as those of Clive Septem­ber, 32, and Mea­gan Mitchells, 21, of Jack­sonville, at­tended the prayer ser­vice along with church min­is­ters and com­mu­nity polic­ing fo­rums.

The fam­i­lies, from dif­fer­ent ar­eas, were in­vited by po­lice to at­tend the ser­vice as the killings hap­pened just 30 min­utes apart on Fri­day and in a sim­i­lar man­ner.

Heart­bro­ken rel­a­tives sobbed un­con­trol­lably as an emo­tional Rev An­drea Pot­gi­eter de­liv­ered her ser­mon based on Psalm 23.

“We must con­tinue to shine the bright light of Christ, be­cause this com­mu­nity needs that,” Pot­gi­eter said.

“The only way we can get rid of dark­ness [is] where there is the light.

“We need to be the source of that,” she said.

Sta­tion com­man­der Bri­gadier Zolani Xavuka ex­pressed his con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies and as­sured them that the sus­pects would be brought to book.

“From our side, we are in­ves­ti­gat­ing this case [and] are head­ing mul­ti­ple op­er­a­tions in or­der to en­sure that we stop this gang­ster­ism in our area.”

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that this hap­pened on Fri­day, be­cause we were launch­ing the na­tional op­er­a­tions fes­tive sea­son [pro­gramme] in Mother­well [on Thurs­day],” Xavuka said.

“The whole coun­try was here in Mother­well, the min­is­ter was here, and we’ve com­mit­ted our­selves as the mem­bers of the SAPS to say we will knock [on] the doors of those crim­i­nals so that we chase them away from our com­mu­ni­ties.

“I must say that we are go­ing to get those crim­i­nals,” he warned.

“And I am also ap­peal­ing to you – if you have any in­for­ma­tion, please tell us.”

The mother of mur­dered Mea­gan Mitchells, Ulanda, Mitchells, ap­pealed to res­i­dents to come for­ward with any in­for­ma­tion on how her daugh­ter was killed, as like with the oth­ers, there were no wit­nesses or clear mo­tive for the shoot­ing.

Pic­ture: WERNER HILLS

GRAND­PAR­ENTS’ GRIEF: Henry Herbert and Jo­hanna Willemse, cen­tre, the grand­fa­ther and grand­mother of mur­dered Ruaan Willemse, 8, with other fam­ily and com­mu­nity mem­bers at the prayer ser­vice at the Bethels­dorp po­lice sta­tion

MOVED: Rev An­drea Pot­gi­eter

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