Woman killed in attempted robbery

A man was arrested for murder after he allegedly stabbed a woman who, along with two men, had tried to rob him and his partner in the Company’s Garden.

The incident was brought to light at the community police forum (CPF) meeting at Cape Town Central police station last Thursday, October 3.

Police reported that in the early hours of Saturday September 28, a couple in the Company’s Garden had been approached by two men and a woman, who allegedly intended to rob them.

One of the men drew a weapon and snatched the woman’s bag, after which the man picked up a stick to ward off the robbers.

The woman suspect then jumped on his back during the altercation, and the man drew a knife and stabbed her. The woman died on the scene.

One of the suspected robbers fled the scene but was later arrested in Camps Bay.

The other was arrested at the scene, and was charged with aggravated robbery.

The man, who allegedly stabbed the woman, was also arrested and charged with murder. No items were stolen during the altercation.

City centre ward councillor Dave Bryant, who chairs the Company’s Garden steering committee, said it was a tragic story, and that the committee had been pushing for extra security, as there were no dedicated law enforcement officers in the garden. The Chrysalis Academy ambassadors, he said, only worked during the day.

The Chrysalis Academy ambassador programme is run by the Western Cape Government in partnership with the Central City Improvement District (CCID) and involves students from the Chrysalis Academy providing a visual presence to deter criminal behaviour.

The CCID gives the students some basic training.

He said the garden had a dedicated manager up until he resigned in 2016, and the position fell away. “We have been in talks with the Mayco member and we are happy to report that they are considering re-opening the position.”

He said the garden manager used to co-ordinate, among other things, cleanliness, events and security in the gardens, adding that hopefully, with the implementation of the Friends of the Company’s Garden group, they would be able to raise funds for better security and lighting (“Friends help garden grow”, CapeTowner, October 3).

Central police reported a decrease in aggravated robbery, but an increase in common robbery for the week from Monday September 28 to Wednesday October 2.

They said purse, cellphone and chain snatching remained an ongoing challenge.

Theft of motor vehicles also increased, with motorbikes and VW Polos being targeted.

However, there had been a substantial decrease in thefts out of motor vehicles. Officers reported that the city centre was the area of most concern, with the problematic areas being Adderley, Bree, Sir Lowry and Long streets.

CPF chairperson Marc Truss said robbery with weapons were still problematic, with suspected robbers using knives, scissors and other sharp objects as weapons.

“There are still too many robberies taking place. We have to take back our streets and report suspicious activity.”

With the matric valedictory season coming up, Mr Truss urged people with school-going children to ask them to exercise caution while celebrating.

Every year, after matric exams have been completed, pupils go to beaches and open public spaces to celebrate the end of their school career – usually with alcohol.

A statement released by the City said the enforcement services would deploy resources to all the known spots where matriculants traditionally congregate to mark the end of their school careers, while lifeguards would work extended hours at main beaches.

The City said in the past, the City’s law enforcement, metro police and traffic departments had had their hands full along the Atlantic Seaboard and False Bay coastline, with popular spots including Clifton, Maiden’s Cove, Camps Bay and Strandfontein beaches.

The City’s mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zaid Badroodien, said although the beach was an ideal place for pupils to make memories during the last days of their schooling years, the risks to personal safety were amplified by illegal drinking at beaches.

“Drinking is not allowed at any beach in Cape Town,” he said.

He added that it was a reality that these celebrations went hand in hand with alcohol use and if left unchecked, can devolve into a situation where people’s safety was compromised.

Offenders will have their liquor confiscated and receive a written notice to appear in court, with a fine of R500.

Lifeguards’ shifts have been extended from 10am until 8pm at the main beaches during the valedictory celebrations.

Mr Truss urged the public and authorities to join the monthly meetings as the attendance was low. “We need our partners to be here and we need to get the word out. The meeting presents an opportunity to get the information out on the table and discuss and address issues.”

The CPF meetings take place at the Akker Hall at Cape Town Central police station on the first Thursday of every month at 8am.