Durban - A man believed to have been a leader of a gang alleged to have carried out a string of robberies, hijackings and murders in the eManzimtoti area, has been buried after being shot by police, allegedly during a shootout.
Lungelo Wayne Gudazi, 23, of KwaMakhutha, died in KwaMakhutha two weeks ago.
His family, who laid him to rest at the weekend, were angry and wanted the officers involved in Gudazi’s death to face the music. They said they were tired of being terrorised by the KwaMakhutha police.
They claimed police were now set on killing Gudazi’s younger sister, S’bahle.
Gudazi’s mother, Lungile Gudazi, told the Daily News on Sunday that the police had come to their home to gloat on Friday night during a vigil for her son.
She said police had ganged up on a nephew and assaulted him several times in the street outside the family home.
“They slapped my nephew after he had gone to ask them why they were here. After shaming him in front of the community, they told him that they shot my son on purpose.
“The policeman who shot my son was there as well, and told my nephew that if anyone has a problem, they must come to them.”
A police source told the Daily News that Gudazi was alleged to have been a leader in a gang known as Jerusalem, and was believed to have been responsible for many of the crimes, including house robberies, murders, and hijackings that had plagued the Toti area over the past few years.
“He refused to be searched by policemen, and shot at policemen, and when the police fired back, he was killed,” the source alleged.
But the dead man’s mother said the police had made up the story about the gang.
“That is a blatant lie, there is no such thing as a Jerusalem gang in this area. You can come here and ask the chief and he will tell you the same. We are frightened by those claims,” she said.
“Even if there was such a gang, does that give the police a right to kill an unarmed person like that? They don’t have the right. We will fight for justice.
“They first said they arrested him because he tried to hijack a cement truck, then they said he resisted arrest. But we know they took him to a bush where they handcuffed him and shot him after he had been put in the boot of a white Golf. There were about six other police vans (sic) watching.”
Lungile Gudazi said KwaMakhutha police had come looking for her son at least once a week since September, and were last seen at her family’s home on June 26, about a week before her son died.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesman, Moses Dlamini, confirmed they were investigating the death.
“It is alleged that the SAPS received information about people having firearms which they intended to use to rob sand delivery trucks in Bhekulwandle area. It is alleged that the police approached the suspects, who opened fire – the police allegedly retaliated and shot and killed one Lungelo Wayne Gudazi.
“The deceased died of multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body. The other suspect ran away,” he said.