A 19-year-old man and a woman in her 20s were shot dead on the side of Putfontein Road in Benoni, Ekurhuleni by unknown men after their bakkie apparently ran out of diesel, paramedics said on Sunday.
ER24 paramedics and another service were on the scene at 12.30pm, ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell said.
It is thought that the victims were attacked by illegal miners, or zama zamas.
“Witnesses reported the two were attacked by zama zamas,” Crystal Park CPF chairperson Paul Raley told Benoni City Times.
The woman was found inside the cab with a single gunshot wound. The young man was found outside the bakkie, having been shot multiple times. Both showed no signs of life and were declared dead on arrival.
“Two workers who were travelling with them fled the scene, but returned once emergency services arrived. They alleged that a group of men had approached them after they had stopped on the side of Putfontein Road where the bridge crosses over the N12. The South African Police Service were on the scene for further investigations,” Campbell said.
Raley said the attackers also allegedly tried to set the vehicle alight.
“There has been a number of shooting incidents on this bridge. We are urging the public to be vigilant at all times here and motorists should refrain from using the bridge at night,” Raley emphasised.
Benoni City Times is aware that a photograph of the couple is making the rounds on social media. Out of respect to the families, we are awaiting confirmation on the image as well as further details before publishing.
Meanwhile, another person was murdered near the N12 squatter camp in question on Sunday night, Benoni SAPS spokesperson Capt Nomsa Sekele confirmed to Benoni City Times.
The Gauteng Province Community Police Board (GPCPB) PRO Reza Patel has condemned the murder of the couple.
“We extend a message of condolences to the family and friends of the innocent victims heartlessly killed in this senseless and terrible criminal incident,” said Patel.
“It is deeply concerning that such blatant and brazen acts of violence against innocents are conducted in broad daylight by thugs and criminal elements in our communities. Our highways and road networks should be safe for citizens to travel and it is unthinkable that even when suffering a breakdown or after having stalled for fuel, that our citizens become victims of crime.
“We extend a message of assurance to citizens that law enforcement authorities in the jurisdiction are doing their utmost best to bring the perpetrators to account. This area has been flagged as a crime hot spot and will receive the attention it deserves to ensure safety for road users and communities alike.
“In addition, we are assured by the EMPD that visible policing will be enhanced to deter criminals in that jurisdiction. The burden of creating safer communities is one that we carry together as citizens and law enforcement, and crime does not differentiate on race, religion or age. We as individuals within communities must take an active role to address issues of crime and safety and take a stand against criminal elements who hide in our midst.
“The GPCPB implores every citizen to raise their hands and get involved in measures to create safer communities in your jurisdiction and play an active role and turn in the criminal elements that are not welcome in our midst. The public are encouraged to report criminals and provide anonymous tip-offs to 08600 10111 or contact their local police station with any information that will assist law enforcement in the investigation of this incident. Community involvement is the key to successful and safer communities.
“We encourage active citizens to visit their local police stations and get involved in the community policing forums in their respective jurisdictions. Together we can stand steadfast and turn the tide of crime.”
– African News Agency (ANA) and CNS reporter