Trauma after triple Heidedal murders

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Heidedal residents woke up to the devastating news that three bodies with multiple stab wounds had been found by a passer-by just behind the mall. PHOTO: MOEKETSI MOGOTSI

The MEC for police in the Free State strongly condemned gangsterism in the province, following the brutal murder of three young males from Bloemfontein. Sam Mashini, speaking from the provincial offices in Bloemfontein on Friday, said that the investigation into the matter is at an advanced stage and police are expecting to make arrests very soon.
This comes after the partly decomposed bodies of Lefa Soaisa (19), Vuyani Makhapela (17) and Mojalefa Frans (21) were found on top of each other in an open veld next to the Lemo Mall near Heidedal on Wednesday 1 February 2017. The bodies were found with multiple stab wounds and the murders are thought to be gang related.
Meanwhile, residents are still recovering from the shock following the gruesome discovery. Rachel Topkin, who stays just behind the mall, says she feels not enough is being done to ensure their safety as a community. Topkin lives with her daughter, Candice, and her granddaughter. She said they are living in constant fear of their lives. “The young kids are unemployed and they do nothing all day. It would be better if the police could patrol our streets more often.” She said she always ensures that she is safely locked in her house, day and night.
The 80-year-old Stone Dangobe, who lives in the area opposite to the mall where the bodies were found in the veld, said he feels terrible that such an awful thing could happen in their community. He said he has been put at ease by the fact that police will be investigating the matter.
The provincial commissioner, Lebeoana Tsumane, said a team comprising provincial detectives, a tactical response team and members from crime intelligence has been established to help curb gangsterism in the province.
“We have a hotspot in Phase Six, Kagisanong and Kopanong, where the boys are from, on the issue of gangsterism. Hard policing, visibility and detection are necessary to deal with gangsterism in the province. I simply do not want to see a gangster,” said Tsumane. Police are still investigating the matter. – Mark Steenbok & Seithati Semenokane
mark@centralmediagroup.co.za
seithati@centralmediagroup.co.za