Kimberley - A Kimberley funeral parlour owner was shot dead execution-style after responding to an apparently fake call-out.
The man, who made the apparent call, took the funeral parlour owner to a local soccer field where he shot him in the head.
Family members of Wilco Motlhatledi are convinced that the “hit” was organised by a rival funeral parlour. Motlhatledi, 35, owner of K Galalelo Funeral Parlours, was shot dead on Saturday evening.
Mourners on Sunday gathered at the victim’s home in Vergenoeg, where a close family member, David Pitso, told reporters that many believed that Motlhatledi’s murder was an “organised ambush by a rival funeral undertaker”.
According to Pitso, Motlhatledi was at home with family members on Saturday night when he got a call to come and collect a body just before 7pm.
“Motlhatledi took one of his employees with him and they went to a carwash in Vergenoeg where the caller met them. The employee said the man climbed into the back of the car and instructed them to go to a soccer field in Lerato Park, where the body apparently was.
According to the employee, who stayed in the car, Motlhatledi walked with the man for about twenty metres onto the soccer field, when the man suddenly pointed a firearm at Motlhatledi. He then shot him once at close range in the face.
“The bullet penetrated his left eye and exited at the back of his head. The employee ran to Motlhatledi, but he was already dead. The killer managed to run away,” Pitso said.
According to Pitso the employee could not help the police with an identikit because he was sitting in front and did not look back at the suspect. It was also dark.
Motlhatledi was in the news a few weeks ago when he opened a case of assault at the Kimberley Police Station after a fight broke out between himself and another funeral parlour owner.
Motlhatledi claimed that he was punched and scratched in his face after trying to remove a body.
Pitso on Sunday claimed that the rival funeral parlour owner told Motlhatledi that “he was not done with him and that much worse things were still coming his way”.
Police spokesman, Lieutenant Sergio Kock, on Sunday confirmed that the police were investigating a murder case after a 35-year-old man was shot and killed. Kock added that the motive for the shooting was still being investigated.
“It is alleged that on Saturday, at approximately 7pm, the deceased was travelling with two passengers and picked up an unknown man near Lerato Park. While travelling through Lerato Park near an open field, the suspect asked the deceased to stop and step out of the vehicle.
“The suspect then shot him once in the face and fled the scene. The victim died at the scene and no arrests have been made yet,” Kock said.
He requested that anyone with information regarding the incident contact Detective Lieutenant Colonel Kapok van Eeden on 082 495 0752.
Diamond Fields Advertiser