Cape Town - A 16-year-old Camps Bay High pupil has become the latest victim of a series of deadly attacks that have rocked the Hout Bay township of Imizamo Yethu.
Kwekwe Ngetu was outspoken and well-liked, a keen artist with ambitions of becoming a lawyer, but on Saturday night his life was cut short.
His school’s principal David de Korte told the Cape Argus the circumstances surrounding his death were still unclear. It is suspected that a knife-wielding gang of youths which has been terrorising the informal settlement was behind the attack which left two dead and one injured.
De Korte said the Grade 10 pupil had gone to buy electricity when he was attacked. The township’s community policing forum’s deputy chairperson Vincent Sodlala said Kwekwe had been walking with a 22-year-old man, identified by his employer as Zuko Roji, who was also killed in the stabbing attack.
Roji worked at the Vida e Caffe on Chapman’s Peak Drive for two years. A dark cloud was hanging over the business on Monday morning as family and staff struggled to come to terms with Roji’s brutal murder.
It was reported that a woman was also stabbed during the attack and was receiving treatment in hospital. However, police did not confirm this.
At Camps Bay High School, staff broke the grim news to students at an assembly on Monday morning. De Korte said some pupils cried; others asked if they could post a picture of the murdered student in the school’s foyer.
According to the principal, Kwekwe’s mother had died when he was still young. His father is living in the Eastern Cape and the only contact the school has is for Kwekwe’s social worker.
The stabbings have been followed by calls to demolish a derelict city-owned building in Hout Bay dubbed the “White House” which residents believe has become a magnet for crime.
Nchikala Ngoy, 27, was stabbed to death close to the building, which is on the main road next to Imizamo Yethu, earlier this month and some residents believe that the suspects “used the house as a hiding place”.
Samkelo Krweqe, of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), said when Ngoy was killed next to the White House there was a feeling that even more suspects were using the house for criminal activities.
“As a community, we have come together to put a motion to the city to demolish the house. We believe if it’s demolished it will go a long way in ending crime,” he said.
Hout Bay Civic Association’s Roscoe Jacobs said crime transcended all barriers and that as residents they were united in fighting crime. He said the association hoped that the city council acted on its plea.
“On Wednesday, a motion will be tabled at the City of Cape Town’s full council meeting for the demolition of the infamous White House. This property has become a symbol and concrete catalyst in the spiralling crisis of crime in Hout Bay of late.”
Jacobs said the broader community had sent a clear message, since 2011, on its stance over the “problem building”.
He said the community is therefore unanimous in its hope that the motion will be passed and a date for the demolition will be given by the city.
“We are aware that the demolition of the White House might not put an immediate end to the crime crisis, but we believe it will send a clear message to criminals that lawlessness will not be tolerated in our community.”
The city council’s mayco member for Transport, Brett Herron, said the demolition of the White House would take place as soon as possible.
“It will cost about R30 000 to demolish, and no decision has been made about the future use of the site. We will have to consider whether we have a need for it.”
The council’s mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said a decision to demolish the White House had already been approved.