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Gatvol Westbury residents continue camping outside police station

Three days later and the residents of Westbury are still camping outside the Sophiatown police station.

On day two, a memorandum was handed over to the provincial police commissioner and he assured the protestors that the men in blue will attend to their grievances immediately, but the residents were not convinced.

The gang war in the area has been going on for seven years, claiming more than 200 lives from June 2015 to date.

Everyday, gunshots can be heard ringing in the air, and the residents mention that it has become a norm for someone to get killed by the gangs who roam the streets in broad daylight, and still life goes on as if nothing happened.

The relationship between the Sophiatown police station and the residents is also rather toxic due to the police failing to come to the rescue of the community.

Lincoln Leghlo, a resident, said: “The police are aware of the perpetrators, intelligence has been around. The police know who does these things, but they are corrupt. The men in blue are on their [gangsters] payroll.”

The police, on the other side, are pleading with the residents to cooperate with them.

Noeline Oakes, whose child Severrianno Oakes was gunned down earlier this week, said he would have celebrated his 29th birthday on Friday.

“I was broken when I heard word on the street of who did this [to my son]. I wanted to go there and do something, because the corrupt police [officers] will not do anything [to catch the perpetrators],” said Oakes.

“I really don’t know how to feel, irrespective of how one never gets used to death, especially because I invested in my son as a single mother. All he wanted was to leave a legacy and be successful [in life]. He had his UEFA coaching licences and he worked in the community with soccer clubs.”

Severianno was a coach and deejay, and the youth and soccer clubs in Westbury feel they have been robbed of a future leader and a community builder.

Taurus Billings, one of the residents, said: “We are…

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