A Grim Encounter in Philippi: The Steep Price of Providing Vital Services

4 mins read
crime security

On April 23, 2024, two security contractors were killed while guarding City of Cape Town employees during a sewer pipe repair operation in Philippi, South Africa. The incident has affected City services in parts of Philippi and led to the extension of tactical response and security escort services to all staff and contractors working in the area. The City has launched an anti-extortion campaign, including a 24/7 hotline and reward system, calling on residents to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to promote peace and progress in their communities. The City has also spent over R8.5 million on private security escorts due to the increase in attacks on staff during working hours.

A Grim Encounter in Philippi: The Steep Price of Providing Vital Services. On April 23, 2024, two security contractors guarding City of Cape Town employees during a sewer pipe repair operation in Philippi were gunned down by local extortionists. The incident has heavily affected City services in parts of Philippi, including in the Kosovo informal settlement, and has led to the extension of tactical response and security escort services to all staff and contractors working in the area. The City has launched an anti-extortion campaign, including a 24/7 hotline and reward system, calling on residents to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to promote peace and progress in their communities.

Section 1: The Terrifying Incident

Philippi, a vibrant neighbourhood in Cape Town, became the scene of a horrifying incident on the 23rd of April, 2024. Two courageous security contractors, hired to guard City of Cape Town employees performing an essential sewer pipe repair operation in Phola Park, were cruelly gunned down by local extortionists. In response, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis offered a sizable reward of R100,000 for any information that could result in the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

The security team had arrived at the location in their company’s vehicle, separate from the City’s transport, carrying five operational staff members. Their mission was straightforward: to safeguard City staff during the repair project. However, the day took a horrific twist as four armed assailants, two focusing on the city vehicle and two advancing towards the toilet block, opened fire.

In the ensuing pandemonium, City staff and local inhabitants sought shelter. Unfortunately, the two security personnel could not escape and succumbed to their injuries. Amid the chaos, a female City employee was injured during a rough tumble.

Section 2: The Aftermath and Repercussions

In the wake of the incident, the crime scene was cordoned off by Law Enforcement and the South African Police Service (SAPS). Currently, a criminal investigation into this shocking event is ongoing. The incident has heavily affected City services in parts of Philippi, including in the Kosovo informal settlement. These criminal acts have also disrupted an ongoing stormwater upgrading project in the settlement.

These persistent threats have led to the extension of tactical response and security escort services to all staff and contractors working in the Philippi area. Despite the violence, the City continues to encourage residents to stay alert and report any criminal activities that obstruct essential water and sanitation services in their community.

As part of a metro-wide anti-extortion campaign titled “Kwanele! Enough! Genoeg!”, the City has launched a round-the-clock hotline (0800 00 6992) and a reward system. This initiative calls on residents to collaborate with the City and law enforcement agencies to fight extortion and promote peace and progress in their communities.

Section 3: The High Cost of Security

Mayor Hill-Lewis expressed his sympathy to the relatives of the slain security staff, stressing the severity of the situation. He referred to the attack as a “pointless act that took the lives of two men who were diligently serving their community.”

Reflecting the City’s profound concern, Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, disclosed that due to a worrying increase in attacks on staff during working hours, the City had spent over R8,5 million on private security escorts in just the 2023/24 financial year.

Badroodien also emphasised that the Philippi attacks were not isolated. In the week before, City employees were victims of two separate robbery incidents while attending to a blocked sewer pipe in Clarke Estate, Elsies River, and a ruptured water pipe in Blue Downs. In both instances, the staff were held at gunpoint and robbed of their personal belongings, including mobile phones.

Section 4: A Call to Action

In these challenging times, the people of Philippi are encouraged to stay resilient, remain vigilant, and help eliminate destructive elements from their community. To report any suspicious activities, residents can call the 24/7 hotline (0800 00 6992) or send an email to SSIMS.SSIUReporting@capetown.gov.za. It is through the collective efforts of the community that peace and safety can be restored in Philippi.

1. What happened in Philippi on April 23, 2024?

Two security contractors were killed while guarding City of Cape Town employees during a sewer pipe repair operation in Philippi, South Africa.

2. How has the incident affected City services in parts of Philippi?

The incident has heavily affected City services in parts of Philippi, including in the Kosovo informal settlement, and has led to the extension of tactical response and security escort services to all staff and contractors working in the area.

3. What is the anti-extortion campaign launched by the City?

The City has launched an anti-extortion campaign, including a 24/7 hotline and reward system, calling on residents to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to promote peace and progress in their communities.

4. How much has the City spent on private security escorts due to the increase in attacks on staff during working hours?

The City had spent over R8.5 million on private security escorts in just the 2023/24 financial year due to the worrying increase in attacks on staff during working hours.

5. How can residents report any suspicious activities?

Residents can call the 24/7 hotline (0800 00 6992) or send an email to SSIMS.SSIUReporting@capetown.gov.za to report any suspicious activities.

6. What is the Mayor’s response to the attack?

Mayor Hill-Lewis expressed his sympathy to the relatives of the slain security staff, stressing the severity of the situation. He referred to the attack as a “pointless act that took the lives of two men who were diligently serving their community.”

Previous Story

The Marriage of Art and Trade: The Journey of Budding Artists into the Art Market

Next Story

“A Historical Review of the Ancient Olympic Games: An Epic Saga of Athletic Grandeur, Cultural Unification, and Religious Festivity”

Latest from Blog

On the Hunt for Perfect Players: Kaizer Chiefs Eye Seasoned Strikers

Kaizer Chiefs, a South African soccer club, is on the hunt for two experienced strikers Lebo Mothiba and Tumisang Orebonye to enhance their team’s performance. Mothiba has an impressive career history, earning accolades for his nationallevel appearances, while Orebonye has established a strong international standing with 40 nationallevel games. Discussions with Mothiba’s representatives are ongoing, and the club anticipates a decision soon. The inclusion of these seasoned players would not just bring experience, but also provide a valuable opportunity for younger players to learn from their colleagues.

Cape Town’s Aspirational Leap towards Electric Vehicles

Cape Town is taking impressive steps towards embracing green transportation, with a focus on the MyCiTi programme and incorporating 30 electric buses in Phase 2A. The city has allocated R668 million to MyCiTi buses in the next three years and plans to electrify its entire vehicle fleet, including waste collection trucks, light delivery vehicles, sedans, and hatchbacks. This approach is part of a broader goal to convert the entire vehicle fleet to electric power and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The city’s initial step towards electrification was a successful pilot project involving five fully electric BMW i3s for the Traffic Services Department.

Crucial Eviction Mandate Approved for Illicit Settlements in Cape Town

The Western Cape High Court has approved the eviction of illegal settlements in Cape Town’s CBD, including Buitengracht Street and Foregate Square. The City plans to invest over R220 million to expand and manage its Safe Space transitional shelters beyond the existing 770 beds across the CBD, Bellville, and Durbanville facilities as part of its continuous battle against homelessness. Safe Spaces provide transitional accommodation and social support initiatives to help individuals transition off the streets.

Exploring Cape Town’s Lesser-Known Culinary Spots

Discover the hidden gems of Cape Town’s culinary scene with these specially curated deals at The Commodore Hotel and OBZ Cafe. From a threecourse meal at The Commodore for only R599 to satisfying burgers and a carnivorous feast at OBZ Cafe for reduced prices, these offers provide a unique and unforgettable dining experience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the lesserknown culinary spots of Cape Town.

Revitalizing South Africa’s Informal Settlements: The Power of the Expanded Public Works Programme

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) presents a promising solution for the improvement of South Africa’s informal settlements, which have been plagued by policy confusion and administrative red tape. EPWP workers, often residents of the communities they serve, could manage intricate relationships necessary for upgrading informal settlements and repair strained relationships between informal communities and their municipal governments. To fully harness the potential of the EPWP, changes such as lengthening the employment limit and creating pathways for workers to transition into municipal human settlement departments are necessary, which could become an emergency lifeline for stalled housing and upgrading projects.