Family of slain Alex woman waits for ballistic report

Samantha Mathane, 29, was allegedly killed by a police bullet while returning from work.
Samantha Mathane, 29, was allegedly killed by a police bullet while returning from work.

The family of a slain Alexandra woman who was shot during a shootout between police and suspected hijackers will have to wait another month before knowing who was behind her murder.

Samantha Mathane was shot and killed, allegedly by a stray bullet, after getting off a minibus taxi near her home on January 15, just a month after getting married.

During a Ministerial Safety Imbizo held at Alexandra Stadium yesterday, Victor Senna, head of the Independent Police Directorate, told community members that they were currently waiting for ballistic and postmortem reports.

"The matter will take 35 days. We will make recommendations to the national police commissioner based on our investigations for disciplinary measures to be taken if there is a need for that to happen. We will also approach the NPA," he said.

Senna was responding to questions posed to top level officials in attendance, including deputy minister of police Cassel Mathale, the national police commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole, Johannesburg Metro Police Department head David Tembe and Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela.

Residents raised issues including the police corruption, police brutality, high crime rates, high youth unemployment rates, and substance abuse in their community.

Maven Tsotetsi, chairperson of Alexandra Youth Desk, said one of the main challenges facing his community was taverns that do not close and attract high levels of crime.

"These taverns open in the morning and close the next morning. There is no age restriction, children are allowed to enter these places."

Resident Tefo Raphadu said police needed to focus their attention on the level of drug dealing in their area.

"There is a drug called cat-cocaine here in Alex, it is a big problem. Every street in Alex has a drug dealer and it's not a secret. Police officers know and do nothing about it, they just go there to collect bribes from these dealers," said Raphadu.

Mawela responded: "It's a concern that there are more taverns than schools. There are 142 taverns and only 19 schools in Alexandra. We will be deploying officers in this area to deal with some of the problems that have been raised here."

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