Petronella PresserIn the early hours of Wednesday, 25 May 2022, Petronella Baloyi, a community leader, was shot and killed in her home at the Rugby Club informal settlement located in Florida, in the Westrand region of Gauteng. According to reports, Baloyi was at home with her husband and extended family when (an) armed person(s) made their way into the property, fired shots, and fled. Petronella and her husband were fatally wounded and succumbed to their injuries in the early hours of Wednesday, 25 May 2022. It is reported that two further fatalities were sustained among her extended family. Petronella leaves behind her two children and extended family.

Baloyi was a community leader for the former residents of the Marie Louise Squatter Camp (“Marie Louise”) who secured judgment by consent for their relocation to the area known as “Rugby Club” following their eviction from Marie Louise. Baloyi was an integral part of the concerted efforts to ensure the effective resettlement of the residents after their relocation in 2015. Recently, Baloyi had taken on administrative and community mobilisation duties as a member of the Marie Louise Residents Committee to give effect to its desire for effective integration into the Rugby Club Community as well as the upgrading of the informal settlement into organised permanent housing for residents.

SERI is devastated to learn of her passing and conveys its sincere condolences to Petronella Baloyi’s family, friends, and loved ones. SERI strongly condemns the heinous killing of the community mobiliser, and others like her, who strive to realise the vision of decent housing and access to municipal services for all. SERI urgently calls for justice to run its course through the intervention of the South African Police Services and the National Prosecuting Authority.

Petronella Baloyi is remembered as a determined, outspoken, and committed community leader for the Rugby Club community. She has played an invaluable role in ensuring the community has an active voice in the participative processes leading up to their relocation, integration as well as the upgrading of the informal settlement by the City of Johannesburg.

Contact details:

  • Khululiwe Bhengu, SERI Attorney: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ 079 816 8076.
  • Muano Nemavhidi, SERI Candidate Attorney: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ 079 988 5046.

Download the full press statement here.