Three murders in two days in Phoenix have sparked gross concern from police and the Community Police Forum (CPF), calling into question the absolute disregard for human life in the area.

Phoenix SAPS communications officer, Cpt L Naidoo said, “Respect for the life of another human being does not exist anymore after three cases of murder have been reported in the Phoenix area in a space of two days.”

“In the first murder, on Tuesday at about 5:25am, the victims were walking to work on the footpath from Rosemanor to Amouti. The one victim alleges that he saw someone behind him but it was dark. As they walked along the bush, three unknown men approached them and began stabbing them. The victim was stabbed twice and his cash and cellphone were taken. The victim also noticed that these men went to the other person who was behind him and began stabbing him.
While they were stabbing the second victim, the first victim got an opportunity to get up and run away but he fell and also saw the second victim fall,” said Cpt Naidoo.

“When the suspects left them, the victim went to the top of the road and received assistance from an ambulance which was summoned. He then informed the people that there was another person who was stabbed on the footpath. Unfortunately, when the second victim was found, he had already died as a result of the stab wounds,” added Cpt Naidoo. A case of murder and attempted murder are being investigated. In a second murder case, members of SAPS Phoenix responded to a complaint of murder at Aberdare Drive in the Industrial Park vicinity.

“Upon their arrival at the scene, the members interviewed a man who identified himself as a person who knew the deceased as they were from the same area. The witness stated that last Monday at about 4:30pm, he and the deceased were walking along the railway line coming from work when they were approached by two unknown men. The said men drew out knives and demanded their belongings.

“The witness and the deceased ran in different directions and the one suspect ran after the witness and stabbed him on the right side of his face and robbed him of his cellphone and takkies. The suspect then fled,” said Cpt Naidoo. “The witness alleged that he then went to his friend’s house to enquire whether he returned home. The next morning, he went back to his friend’s house and found that the man still had not returned home. The witness then went back to the spot where he and his friend were robbed and found traces of blood. He noticed the deceased in the bush and found that he had sustained a stab wound to the neck,” Cpt Naidoo added.

Head of Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA), Prem Balram, said reaction officers were on patrol in the area when they noticed an individual standing on the roadside bleeding from an injury to his face. “The man explained the situation and added that when they were asked to hand over their valuables, they resisted and attempted to put up a fight. The suspects overpowered the two men and robbed one of them for his Samsung S5 cellphone, Adidas sandals and a wallet containing R350 in cash. The victim was then stabbed in his face as he fled. He informed RUSA members that his friend had fled in the opposite direction following the robbery. A search was conducted for the second victim and the suspects without success.

“The following morning, the victim returned to the area with police after his friend failed to return home that night. While searching along the railway line, a blood trail was discovered. Police officers followed the trail which led into a bush where the second victim’s body was discovered,” said Balram.

“The suspects involved in the murder are believed to be linked to several robberies. In recent weeks, Reaction Officers have attended to several callouts in the area where victims of robberies were stabbed even after handing over their valuables,” added Balram.The deceased was then removed to the government mortuary and a case of murder had been registered at Phoenix SAPS.

Meanwhile, in a third murder in Phoenix, a security was shot dead at a business premises by a gang of armed robbers on Wednesday.
“It is alleged by the complainant that in the early hours of Wednesday morning, he was on duty as the security guard at Calshot Crescent, a business premises when the murder and robbery unfolded.
He alleged that whilst he was at work, he was informed by a colleague that eight unknown men entered the premises and demanded the machines. He states that he saw his colleague run towards him whilst being followed by these men.

The gang were firing shots at his colleague. They both then ran to the change room and the eight men entered as well,” said Cpt Naidoo.
“The complainant further alleges that he saw his colleague collapse and he was tied up and left at the back of the premises. When the suspects left him and went to collect the diesel from a tractor, he managed to untie himself and run to get help from the neighbours.
The deceased sustained one gunshot wound to the left side of his chest which exited on the right side of the chest. A microwave, two cellphones and other items were taken. A case of murder and business robbery is being investigated,” added Cpt Naidoo.

“These criminals in the three reported murders are ruthless and merciless in view of their cold blooded killings. They have murder and mayhem on their minds. We implore police to ensure that these brazen murderers are arrested and punished accordingly,” said Phoenix CPF chairman, Umesh Singh.