Durban – Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Monday police had launched a 72-hour activation plan to apprehend those responsible for the murders of nine people in KwaNdengezi over the weekend.
Cele made the statement while visiting the township on Monday. He was joined by KZN’s transport and community safety MEC, Bheki Ntuli, and national police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole.
“To lose nine people, massacred and murdered, in a question of about eight to ten hours in one place, that’s quite serious,” Cele said.
The nine people were killed in two separate incidents.
On Saturday evening, the bodies of four unknown men were discovered in KwaNdengezi, around 30km west of Durban’s central business district, near Pinetown.
KZN police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, who confirmed the incident on Monday, said that the bodies were discovered next to Olwambeni Primary School.
“Charges of murder are being investigated by KwaNdengezi police after four people aged between 17 and 24 were fatally shot by unknown people at Zwelibomvu in KwaNdengezi on 26 September 2020 at 19:30,” Mbele told African News Agency (ANA).
Zwelibomvu is located south-west of KwaNdengezi and is a mostly rural area.
The victims were allegedly killed by vigilantes who accused them of stealing livestock.
“It looks like these people were picked and put in one place and then executed,” Cele said.
The minister emphasised that no person had the right to take the law into his or her own hands.
Cele also met with the families of another five victims who were murdered in the area on Saturday night.
He said the circumstances surrounding this incident were “sketchy”.
The five were shot dead while allegedly driving home in an SUV after a night out. A sixth occupant survived the attack and is in a critical condition in hospital.
The suspects, driving in a VW Polo, pulled over the SUV and told the occupants to lie face down on the ground. They were then shot in the head.
“The information says those people were together where they came from, others say they met on the way. They were ordered to get out of the car, asked if one person had the gun, ordered them to lie on their stomachs and then shot them. No argument, no nothing,” said Cele.
Five counts of murder and one of attempted murder have been opened at the KwaNdengezi police precinct.
No arrests have been made.
African News Agency (ANA)