Durban - A platoon of national intervention unit (NIU) police has been deployed to the volatile KwaMashu hostel.
Welcoming the members from the Eastern and Western Cape yesterday, KZN provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said the undisclosed number of officers would co-ordinate searches in the hostel, man roadblocks and carry out other operations to root out crime in the area.
There have been five shootings incidents in the area recently that are thought to be politically motivated, leaving two people dead and three injured. They were IFP and NFP members. The NIU team was requested to bolster the public order police and other units already active in the area.
“We were already stretched as a province and requested national intervention,” said Ngobeni. She said the officers would be in the area until the end of the March 26 by-election, and would remain if there was still a need.
After a briefing at the KwaMashu police station, Ngobeni said the investigating capacity would also be increased.
The head of detectives in KZN, deputy commissioner General Mjabuliswa Ngcobo, said a lack of information was the greatest challenge in investigating crimes at the hostel, where the terrain was difficult due to shacks being built around it.
Last Friday, the KwaMashu detective task team arrested the suspected assailant of Zama Zungu, who was shot in the stomach, and Nomusa Nhlengana, shot in her left hip.
The women, who are NFP members, were allegedly shot when they crossed paths with IFP members at the sports ground next to the hostel.
The NIU paraded on the same field, with a handful of residents watching from the stands. Ngobeni said it was only a matter of time before the killer or killers of NFP member Ntombi Mzila and IFP Women’s Brigade chairwoman Nonhlanhla Biyela were apprehended and peace was restored.