Jeppe is Gauteng’s deadliest suburb

George Goch hostel in Johannesburg was one of the places with the most crime-related deaths
George Goch hostel in Johannesburg was one of the places with the most crime-related deaths
Image: Thulani Mbele

Jeppe is the most dangerous place in Gauteng, with more than 120 people killed in the past financial year, because of taxi violence.

National crime statistics released by Bheki Cele, the minister of police, on Tuesday revealed that 125 people were murdered in the Joburg suburb in the 2017/2018 financial year, compared to 88 in the previous period under review.

This translated to a shocking 42% increase when compared to the 2016/2017 financial year.

Jeppe Community Policing Forum’s (CPF) chair Zola Dambula said the high rate of murders could be attributed to ongoing taxi-related feuds stemming from KwaZulu-Natal. “We have been able to establish that the murders in this area are between people who know each other and those who live in the hostels,” Dambula said.

“These people come from rural parts of KZN and have settled in the hostels. George Goch hostel has proven to be a big problem because of taxis and that’s where most of them settle. They arrive there carrying grudges from their homelands and settle the scores there. That’s where we come across a lot of murders in our precinct.”

He said the recent statistics were not an accurate reflection of the work being done by the police and the CPF.

“In some cases you find that people who are killed are not even from this precinct, they just happen to be killed in this area but are not from here.”

Dambula said they have implemented measures to decrease murders in the area by having forums with indunas (chiefs) from the hostels and leaders from the taxi industry.

“These people know who the troublemakers are and they often assist in pointing them out,” said Dambula.

Sibusiso Dlamini, who lives at George Goch hostel, told Sowetan that finding a body lying in the street was not a rare sight.

“I’ve come across about five bodies since I started living here in 2013. I once heard someone screaming ‘don’t kill me’ and that was followed by three gunshots. We woke up and found his body on the street,” Dlamini said.