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Lenasia Gripped by a Wave of Crime Fever


Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News, 2014-01-14


Two men who brazenly broke into a home in Lenasia, South of Johannesburg on Friday morning, brutally beating up the homeowner Yusuf (Essopbhai) Varachia known as “Butch” and stealing a few items, came back the following day for more.

According to a family member, the two men aged between 27 and 30 returned to the home on Nirvana Drive on Saturday morning and accosted Mariam, the 71 year old sister of Varachia while she was in the shower. They were armed.  

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said Varachia died at the Chris Hani Baragwaneth hospital on Saturday, a day after the intruders first gained entry to his home.

The family member told Radio Islam they were informed by doctors at the hospital, that due to his heart condition, Varachia passed away from shock after being dragged along the ground during the robbery.

“The man was taken to the hospital by relatives who witnessed the incident,” said Makhubela.

The robbers initially broke into Varachia’s home on Friday morning at 2:30am demanding money, keys to the safe and other valuable items.

Not satisfied with their ill-gotten loot, the robbers returned the following day (Saturday), but so did the police to further investigate.

“At the time, both were armed. But, luckily, they did not find any family members at the house,” said Makhubela.

The two suspects were arrested and made an appearance at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Monday where they were charged with murder, assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm, house robbery and possession of unlicensed firearms.

There has been a spate of robberies and murders in Lenasia and Lenasia South in recent times and residents are up in arms and fed-up, saying enough is enough.

Residents are being plagued by ruthless criminals who roam freely, casting a wave of panic which has enveloped the picturesque neigbourhoods of the suburb

The question is what are the police doing about crime in Lenasia and Lenasia South and how do residents curb crime in the suburbs?

In July last year 36 year old Afzal Badat was brutally murdered in Lenasia Extension 13. Badat was allegedly beaten with a spade by the six suspects, his screams alerting a neighbour.

Even the sanctuary for the marhoomeen (deceased) Avalon Qabrastaan in Lenasia has become a haven for scrupulous criminals ready to pounce on unsuspecting visitors.

In November last year two employees from Saaberie Chisty Burial Society were accosted by armed thugs. Khalil Shaik was severely assaulted and Basheer Makhanda shot in the leg after they went to Avalon Qabrastaan.

Later in November, 64 year old Indira Govan was bludgeoned to death by her domestic and gardener in Albatross Street in Lenasia.  

Also in the month of November, 48 year-old prominent community member Riad Malek was shot outside his son’s home in Lenasia, Extension 10.

In Milkwood Street in Lenasia South, 64 year old Bitharam ‘Harry’ Mathadin’s body was found by police at his home after they were informed the elderly man was neither seen nor heard from since November 25.

A source at the time told Radio Islam the motive could’ve been robbery as Mathadin’s car, a black Volkswagen Polo and his mobile phone, a Samsung S4 was alleged to be missing.

In September last year, two elderly sisters, 70 year old Hawa Bibi, and 75 year old Zuleikha Ghora were also savagely murdered at their home on the corner of Penner Avenue and Bangalore Drive, Extension 11A.

At the time, Premier of Gauteng Nomvula Mokhonyane visited Lenasia to pay her respects to the family.

Angry community members including many children lined the streets with placards calling for justice and a stop to crime in Lenasia.

Mokhanyane assured the community that she would make an undertaking to look at the issues that were being raised.  


(Twitter: @Faizie143)


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