//Kharas regional crime investigations coordinator deputy commissioner Nicodemus Mbango has urged victims of harassment by Keetmanshoop’s ‘Hosh-Hosh’ gang to report this.
The gang has allegedly been wreaking havoc at the town, terrorising community members with robberies at knifepoint.
The gang members are reportedly criminals who were released a few months ago, after serving time for various offences.
Mbango says the police are unable to arrest them as community members are not coming forward to report them.
The police, however, last week arrested 12 members of the gang in connection with the assault of Armore Plaatjie (29) and regarding other offences on 25 November.
At the time of the arrests //Kharas police commander commissioner Marius Katamila said Keetmanshoop is experiencing violence perpetrated by a suspected gang with members aged between 17 and 23.
“The police have received numerous complaints over the weekend. Some of these activities involve people being harassed and [. . .] someone was even followed to the hospital by these gang members.
“Yes, we are experiencing harassment of the larger public of Keetmanshoop,” he said.
Plaatje told a daily publication he was attacked and robbed by the gang on 25 November.
He said one of the attackers lured him from his house with a promise to share the proceeds from the sale of a cellphone.
“I accompanied him, since we are friends. But shortly after that, he and his two friends started to chase me, stabbing me in my lung and in my back,” he said.
Plaatje’s mother, Erica (48), asks: “Why should they lead my innocent son into a trap and stab him? When will the police start to apprehend these gang members and protect us as part of their duties?”
Mbango said the police had to release the gang members as Plaatje did not report the incident.
The owner of a local pub allegedly shot two members of the alleged gang at his premises over the weekend.
“The conundrum we are sitting with now is that the state has taken over the case of the shooting incident, as the owner of the pub handed himself over to the police. This has resulted in the members of the Hosh-Hosh gang becoming victims in this case.
“As long as other victims do not come forward to make cases, we as the police can do nothing to deal with this gang as decisively as we would like to,” Mbango said.
A case of attempted murder has been registered against the pub owner, while he lay charges of the violation of peace, assault by threat, and the trespassing of private property against the two alleged gang members.
“The business owner has not been arrested yet, as every case has its own merit. In this case the business owner was reportedly being threatened with knives by the gang on his premises.
“Some of those who were on his premises were banned from there already for this behaviour. But the case is being investigated and sent to the prosecutor general to make a decision,” Mbango said.
The police say after firing warning shots, the bar owner shot one alleged gang member in his left leg and the other one in the neck.
Both are reportedly in a stable condition.
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