Inanda community mourns slain neighbourhood watch members

KZN premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube visited the family of Muziwandile Mbambo, 60, who was gunned down at his home in Inanda. | DOCTOR NGCOBO Independent Newspapers

KZN premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube visited the family of Muziwandile Mbambo, 60, who was gunned down at his home in Inanda. | DOCTOR NGCOBO Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 7, 2024


Durban — Three neighbourhood watch members who were shot and killed on Monday in the north of Durban will be remembered for their bravery and fight against crime.

Two men who were part of the eThekwini Neighbourhood Watch in Inanda were shot and killed allegedly by a gang that is reportedly terrorising the community.

Avela Nompahla, 37, was gunned down at a local soccer ground, while Mzwandile Mbambo, 60, was shot and killed at his home, a few metres away from the grounds.

In Waterloo, Verulam, Majola, whose first name was not given, was shot and killed by unknown assailants while on patrol duty. Majola ensured that community members had a safe passage to the bus station.

A family representative of Nompahla said they were deeply hurt by the incident. They also were comforted by the visit because it showed Nompahla’s work was recognised and appreciated. His funeral will be held in KwaNyathi in the Eastern Cape.

The eThekwini Neighbourhood Watch chairperson, Andile Jali, said they are relieved there were police deployed in Inanda.

“We hope the increased police visibility will help curb the crime levels. These murders show that criminals see us as a stumbling block to terrorising the community as they used to.”

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who visited the families of the dead on Thursday, said the men and women who are members of these structures are brave and risk their lives protecting the communities.

She said community crime-fighting structures were central to the quest of building safer communities where citizens can enjoy crime-free neighbourhoods, and that police were “hot on the heels of the perpetrators”.

KwaZulu Natal premier Nomusa Dube Ncube visited the family of Asavela Nompahla in Nanda after she was shot at a local sports ground. Picture: DOCTOR NGCOBO/Independent Newspapers

Speaking to the Mbambo family, Dube-Ncube said the community outnumbers the criminals, which is why they need to work hand in hand with the police to stop crime.

She acknowledged Nompahla’s bravery and dedication to the community.

“It is very painful to think of how the community is living with criminals. I wish that the community would become whistle-blowers when they see illegal activity.”

Dube-Ncube said the government would continue to support neighbourhood watches in tackling crime and also create programmes for the youth since many of them were reportedly part of these gangs.

KZN police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said a suspect wanted in connection with the murders of two neighbourhood watch members in Inanda was shot and fatally wounded in a shoot-out with police on Monday.

“One suspect was fatally wounded and another one escaped.

“More gunshots were heard when police were at the crime scene and a search for a group of suspects linked to the gruesome murders is under way.”

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