Tears flow for murdered five
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.
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