SAPS in Gauteng Address Social Media Misinformation on Gang Violence

SAPS in Gauteng Address Social Media Misinformation on Gang Violence

  • Police in Gauteng have refuted social media claims of 13 gang-related murders, confirming only three murders in Westbury, Sophiatown
  • The SAPS highlighted the arrest of a major suspect, Morgan "Big John" John, and detailed ongoing interventions and arrests aimed at reducing gang violence
  • The police urged social media users to avoid spreading misinformation that incites fear

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Reitumetse Makwea, a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Pretoria, South Africa, covered court and crime-related news at The Citizen and Rekord Noweto for over five years.

Fake news on gang violence
In a significant development, one of the most wanted gang-affiliated suspects, Morgan John, also known as Big John, was arrested for murder. Images: Phill Magakoe and Rodger Bosch
Source: Getty Images

The SAPS in Gauteng has expressed significant concern over recent social media posts alleging heightened gang-related violence in the province.

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Claims circulating online that 13 people have been killed in gang-affected areas this week are untrue.

Official reports confirmed that there were only three murder cases, all in Westbury, Sophiatown, with no gang-related murders reported in Eldorado Park, Riverlea, Noordgesig or other areas.

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Gang suspect arrested

In a significant development, one of the most wanted gang-affiliated suspects, Morgan John, also known as Big John, was arrested on Thursday, 20 June 2024 for murder.

He appeared before the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 21 June, and has been remanded in custody pending his next court appearance on 29 June.

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The provincial police have implemented extensive interventions across all gang violence-affected areas, including Sophiatown (Westbury), Langlaagte (Riverlea), Eldorado Park (Ext 1 to 4), Orlando (Noordgesig), Reigerpark, Booysens (Bella Vista & Chrisville), Motlakeng (Toekomsrus) and Moffat View (South Hills).

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More boots on the ground

Additional deployments have strengthened their efforts to support the local stations' routine policing.

These 24-hour deployments include members from the Public Order Police, Tactical Response Unit, Flying Squad, K9 Unit and Johannesburg Metro Police, alongside private security officers.

From March 1 to June 2024, the Anti-Gang Unit arrested 106 suspects for various offences, including attempted murder, armed robbery and drug-related crimes.

These arrests also led to the seizure of 14 firearms, 138 rounds of ammunition, drugs, dangerous weapons and two hijacked vehicles.

"The dissemination of false information only exacerbates tensions and fear among residents. We appeal to the public to verify information through official channels and support the ongoing efforts to ensure safety and security in our communities."

12-year-old Cape Town girl killed in gang gunfight

Briefly News previously reported that a 12-year-old Firoudz Kleinsmidt was killed during a shootout between the Nice Time Kids gang and the 28s gang in the Cape Flats.

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She was standing just outside her classroom on 30 January 2024, when a stray bullet hit her in the head.

South Africans are lamenting the violence in the Cape Flats and are shattered by her death.

Source: Briefly News

Reitumetse Makwea avatar

Reitumetse Makwea (Editor) Reitumetse Makwea is a Current Affairs journalist at Briefly News. She has a National diploma, Advanced diploma and Post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology. She first worked as a student journalist and freelancer for Caxton's Record Noweto and later joined The Citizen News, where she worked for a little over 3 years covering politics, environmental news, business, education, and health. Reitumetse joined Briefly News in 2024. Email: