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Somalis live in fear as alleged killer freed
By Zara Nicholson
October 04, 2007
Members of a Somali family fear for their lives after the man they claim stabbed a relative to death in Belhar on Sunday was released from custody minutes after he was arrested - police apparently told them they had "taken too long to make a case".
The family said the man was now threatening to kill them.
Mohamed Dinle, 34, said his cousin, Sulven Dhaqana, had been fatally stabbed in the chest in a Belhar shop owned by a relative just after 8pm on Sunday.
Dinle said his cousin was killed by a man who lived opposite the shop.
When a police vehicle passed, the relative who was in the shop when Dhaqana was stabbed had pointed the man out to police.
He said police had taken the man, who had the knife in his possession, to Delft police station.
Dinle said when he and other relatives arrived at the police station 30 minutes later, police told them they had released the man because, they (the family) "took too long to make a case".
They buried Dhaqana on Monday according to Muslim rites.
Dinle said the man was seen in the same road in Belhar where the killing took place on Monday and when family members wanted to open the shop again, the man threatened to kill all of them.
He said the family had decided not to open the shop and some of them who live in Belhar went to stay with relatives in Stellenbosch.
"We didn't try to call the police again because we don't have any confidence in them now, so there's no point in calling them. We are very frightened, we are really fearing for our lives," Dinle said.
Police spokesperson Captain Randall Stoffels confirmed the incident and said police were investigating a case of murder.
" Delft police are investigating a case of murder after the 33-year-old Somali citizen was assaulted (stabbed) on Sunday evening at a shop in Alabama street, Belhar. Information received was that an unknown man allegedly stabbed him during a robbery at the shop," Stoffels said.
He added that a senior officer was appointed by the acting station commissioner at Delft police station to investigate the allegations made by Dhaqana's relatives.
"Our investigators are hot on the heels of the alleged perpetrator who is responsible for the stabbing," Stoffels said.
Source: Cape Argus