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Two City security escorts killed in Philippi, Mayor offers R100 000 reward <p style="text-align:justify;">The armed security guards had driven to the site in Phola Park in their own company vehicle, while a City vehicle transported five operational staff. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On arrival, the teams disembarked to gather tools and inspect the pipe. While busy, two armed men approached the City vehicle and another two headed to the toilet block where multiple shots were fired.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">While the City staff and residents fled to safety, sadly both private security guards passed away. A female City staff member was also injured from a hard fall. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Law Enforcement and the SAPS cordoned off the crime scene, and the criminal investigation is ongoing.</p><p>Various City services are being severely impacted by criminal attacks in parts of Philippi, including Kosovo informal settlement where a stormwater upgrading project is under way.</p><p>Tactical response and security escort services are being provided to both staff and contractors in the Philippi area due to the ongoing safety threats.</p><p>'Our message to Philippi residents is this: we will not stop delivering services in your community, but our frontline staff are under attack and need your help. Use our 24-hour tip-offs hotline to report the criminals disrupting water and sanitation services and upgrades in the community. You can remain anonymous and the City is offering a reward of up to R100 000 for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the murderers behind the attacks on our staff and contractors. Together we can root out the criminals blocking progress in communities.</p><p>'The City extends our heartfelt condolences to the families of two security contractor staff, who so tragically lost their lives in the shooting in Phola Park, Phillippi on Tuesday 23 April,' said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.</p><p>The City has set up a 24-hour hotline (0800 00 6992) and rewards system to encourage residents to help the City and the authorities to tackle extortion. This forms part of a metro-wide anti-extortion campaign titled <em>'Kwanele! Enough! Genoeg!'. </em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> 'We as a City are shocked at the senseless act which has claimed the lives of two men hard at work serving the community. Arrangements have been made for staff to receive medical attention and trauma counselling. These horrendous experiences deeply impact everyone, especially those working at the forefront of service delivery.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">'In hotspot areas particularly, the City works closely with community leaders to ensure that service delivery can continue despite many challenges. No unrest was reported prior to the team being deployed in this instance.</p><p>'The alarming number of attacks on staff while on duty, working to maintain a dignified service standard in informal settlements, led to the City spending over R8,5 million for private security escorts in the 2023/24 financial year alone. Unfortunately ruthless targeting persists and has now claimed two more innocent lives,' said Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Councillor Badroodien added that the latest attacks in Philippi follow recent incidents targeting staff elsewhere in the city. On Wednesday 17 April, City staff were also robbed in two separate incidents on the same day. In the one incident, a team was busy responding to a blocked sewer pipe in Clarke Estate, Elsies River when one of the staff was robbed of his cellphone. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the second incident, a team of five was held at gunpoint and robbed of their personal belongings including cellphones while they were in Blue Downs attending to a burst water pipe. </p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>Anonymous tip-offs are encouraged:</strong></p><p>Phone 24/7: 0800 00 6992</p><p>Email: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p> <br></p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2024-04-23T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#9b08054d-9073-4920-b1e7-d0e5f9361b3b;L0|#09b08054d-9073-4920-b1e7-d0e5f9361b3b|reward system;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#a3ac5825-3464-4e1b-a58b-75c8b257d806;L0|#0a3ac5825-3464-4e1b-a58b-75c8b257d806|water & sanitation;GP0|#366cd86b-6607-44bd-bfaf-c690e15d90fb;L0|#0366cd86b-6607-44bd-bfaf-c690e15d90fb|Philippi10

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