Deadly shootings between rival gangs in Leonsdale have claimed the life of an innocent mother.
On Friday evening, 34-year-old Simone ‘Simmy’ Rasper was shot while standing outside in Boater Close, Elsies River, during load shedding.
After another fatal shooting earlier that day, the mother of three was shot in the chest by rival gangs opening fire on one another.
Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk says a case of murder is being investigated, explaining: “Circumstances surrounding a shooting incident on 9 February at approximately 9.30pm Boater Close, Leonsdale, Elsies River, where an adult female was shot and fatally wounded are under investigation.
“The motive is unknown.The unknown suspect/s fled and are yet to be arrested.”
Simone’s family declined to speak to the Daily Voice on Sunday, saying they were still too hartseer and weren’t ready to talk yet.
Her death also sparked fear of an all-out gang war in the community as she was one of three people shot over the weekend.
Claudine Coleridge, a community leader from Leonsdale, says skollies are at war and “cops aren’t helping”.
She says everyone is living in fear, adding: “What is sad is that police know the gangsters and they know what is happening.
“Women coming from work are asking if it’s safe to come home or what they must do.
“Imagine as a mother, you know there’s a shooting and your young daughters are at home.”
Chief Hamish Arries, chairperson of the Elsies River Community Police Forum (CPF), says the increase in gang-related shootings throughout the precinct is a great concern.
Arries says: “The CPF on behalf of the Elsies River community want to reiterate that we refuse to live under siege by criminal elements and demand swift and immediate action by all the law enforcement agencies.”
Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC, Reagen Allen encouraged mense with information related to the shootings to report it to all law enforcement agencies.
Allen says: “I once again urge community members to report the whereabouts of illegal firearms on 021 466 0011 as they can earn up to R5000 should the weapon successfully be confiscated and it leads to an arrest and conviction.”
Simone leaves behind three children aged 17, 12 and seven, and Coleridge is asking people to help the family with her funeral.
She adds: “They don’t have a policy for her.”
If you can assist Simone’s family give her a dignified burial, Claudine Coleridge can be contacted on 071 153 8411.