Garbage removal services in Philippi East have come to a halt following a tragic incident on Thursday, September 14. Two security guards, who were escorting municipality garbage trucks, were shot and killed in Zikhonkwene Close around 2 p.m.
According to witnesses, the suspects fled the scene with the firearms belonging to the deceased security guards. Grant Twigg, the mayco member for Urban Waste Management announced the suspension of services in the area, citing safety concerns for the workers.
Twigg revealed that the shooting incident occurred after the workers had received threats demanding they pay a protection fee to enter the area. This was not the first time the workers had been threatened. The previous extortion threats that resulted in contractors withdrawing their services in Philippi East earlier this year. To ensure continuity of service, the city decided carry out the garbage removal services in Philippi East under security escort.
A community member, who witnessed the incident, described the alarming scene. “Several gunshots went off, and I immediately ran into my house for safety. I only came outside after the sound of gunfire had ceased,” they said.
Twigg expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased security guards. Police spokesperson, Captain Frederick Van Wyk said Philippi East police are investigating the matter.
“Philippi East police have registered a double murder case following a shooting incident on September 14, 2023, at approximately 2:30 p.m. at Zikhonkwene Close, Philippi East. Two males, aged 30 and 34, sustained multiple gunshot wounds, and despite being transported to a nearby medical facility by their colleagues, they were declared dead upon arrival,” said Captain Van Wyk.
Law enforcement officers found a marked security vehicle at the medical facility with bloodstains on the right rear door. They also found blood on the front seats and steering wheel. Investigations are ongoing as police work to gather more information about the incident.
The suspension of garbage removal services has caused inconvenience for residents in Philippi East, who are now grappling with mounting piles of rubbish. The community remains on edge as they await further developments in this tragic incident.