Durban - Two men who allegedly murdered a Somali tuck-shop owner in uMlazi were arrested on Wednesday after they had unwittingly boasted about the deed to the police, who were interrogating their accomplices when a cellphone rang.
Thinking they were speaking to one of their four gang members who had all been arrested earlier, they told police about the shooting.
The pair were swiftly arrested in uMlazi’s G-section and charged for the murder of the 22-year-old shop owner, as well as for house robbery.
The other four alleged gang members, aged 19 to 35, were arrested earlier in uMlazi and linked to numerous hijackings in the Montclair, Wentworth, Umbilo and Brighton Beach areas.
They were charged with hijacking and murder.
A police source said some of the suspects were pupils from local high schools who had been on the run since an alleged cash heist at a supermarket in uMlazi’s W-section, last year.
The four suspects have also been charged with the murder of a 57-year-old Warner Beach man who was killed during a hijacking in November last year and the hijacking of a Wentworth woman last week.
The woman was in her Toyota Avanza with her two children when she was hijacked. The three were forced out as the robbers sped away. The vehicle was later recovered.
The Durban Flying Squad, uMlazi K9 Unit and the Brighton Beach Field Unit were involved in Wednesday’s arrests.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said the police officers were busy with the investigation shortly after making the initial arrests when a suspect’s cellphone rang.
“A cellphone rang from one of the suspects informing that his friend had just allegedly killed a tuck shop owner at G-section in uMlazi area. The caller was not aware that his friend had already been arrested,” he said.
“An arrangement was made to meet the caller somewhere at G-section, not knowing that the police were coming as well. Two suspects… were seen at G-section and they attempted to run but the (police) members managed to arrest them,” said Zwane.
Police said they searched the two suspects and found a 9mm pistol – the alleged murder weapon – in their possession.
They also found sweets, cigarettes and cash that had allegedly been stolen from the tuck shop.
Daily News, additional reporting by Sapa