Angry Westbury residents protest over release of murder suspects

Residents burnt tyres in Westbury, Johannesburg, early on Wednesday to protest the release of two men who were arrested for the shooting of Heather Peterson.

Peterson was killed in the crossfire during a shootout in September, while a 10-year-old girl was wounded.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said a group of residents had blocked Hay Avenue with burning tyres.

“The group burnt tyres and closed the road, but the police are on the scene and the situation is under control,” said Dlamini.

“They are protesting over the release of two suspects who were arrested in connection with the murder of the woman. The family of the victim was informed by the court why the suspects were released.”

Dlamini said the case against the two men has been provisionally withdrawn as they have not been positively linked to the murder.

“The other two suspects are still in custody,” he said.

At the time of the shooting, residents vowed to shut down the area to mourn Peterson’s death and called on government to deploy the army to clean up the drug-ridden area.

Police minister Bheki Cele visited the area shortly after the incident and promised to investigate allegations that police were in cahoots with criminals there.

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