Durban — KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Sipho Hlomuka has commended law enforcement after a gun battle left five suspects dead in Inanda, north of Durban, on Monday night.
Hlomuka commended the stellar work of an integrated law enforcement team following the death of five suspects who were involved in a shoot-out with police at a house near the Dube Village Mall, Inanda.
KZN police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said a team of various police disciplines, private security, the National Intervention Unit and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) conducted an operation at 11pm after intelligence led them to a house near the Dube Village Mall in Inanda.
The suspects are believed to have been terrorising the Inanda community.
“As the police officers approached the house, they were met with gunfire. A member of the National Intervention Unit was shot in the leg and was transported to hospital where he remains in stable condition. Following a heated gun battle, four suspects were fatally wounded. Police found four pistols in their possession. A manhunt continues for more suspects,” Naicker said.
“A fifth suspect has been found deceased at a house close to the original crime scene. It is believed that he fled the scene during the shoot-out and sought refuge in a nearby house. The suspect passed away due to his injuries while hiding from police. The owners of the home came forward later in the morning when it was discovered that the man had passed away. Police will also look into why the owners of the house allowed the man to hide in their home.”
Naicker said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate was summoned for further investigations.
Commenting on the incident Hlomuka said: “Our law enforcement officers are indeed equal to the task. We are closing ranks on all criminal activity in the province. Our integrated approach to crime combating is working perfectly. We are doing our best to keep our communities safe and secure. Criminals must be warned, lawlessness is not going to be tolerated. We are reclaiming our streets!”
Hlomuka said lawlessness will not be tolerated.
“In recent weeks, law enforcement members have worked diligently to take out wanted criminals around the province. We applaud their dedication and bravery displayed in the execution of their duty to detect and prevent crime in our society. We want to say that all members of law enforcement should act within the prescripts of the law to protect themselves when faced with danger,” Hlomuka said.
Hlomuka said that law enforcement was involved in a high-density crime-fighting operation in October to ensure that criminal elements and dangerous weapons such as firearms and explosives are removed from society.
Some successes by law enforcement in October:
- On October 6, four cash-in-transit heist suspects were shot dead by law enforcement members after a shoot-out ensued at a house in KwaMashu. Police recovered an AK47 rifle and a R5 rifle and ammunition.
- On October 6, one cash-in-transit heist suspect was arrested. A rifle and ammunition were recovered in Jolivet. Police also recovered a two-way radio, explosives, a bank card and over 20 identity documents.
- On October 17, Warrant Officer Sthembiso Mazibuko was killed during a shoot-out with suspects in Ntuzuma. One of the suspects killed was wanted in connection with 12 murder cases. One of his victims was a Community Police Forum member.
- On October 22, two suspects were killed during a shoot-out with law enforcement in Amaoti, Inanda. The suspects were aged 15 and 38. Police recovered two pistols.
- On October 25, two suspects were shot and killed by law enforcement members in Luganda, Mariannhill after a shoot-out. Police recovered two pistols.
- On October 26, police arrested three suspects at a clinic in KwaMashu, a traditional healer was killed in a shoot-out with law enforcement in Amaoti, Inanda.
- On October 27, law enforcement arrested a 23-year-old suspect for the murder of Sergeant Dumisani Cele who was shot in Inanda.
Hlomuka assured the community that the provincial government, law enforcement, community crime prevention structures and private security companies are working around the clock to heighten crime combating interventions leading up to the launch of the November safety month and the festive season.
Emphasis will be placed on increased police visibility during this period and more high-density intelligence-driven operations will be conducted by integrated law enforcement agencies with community crime prevention structures at the forefront, he added.
KZN police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, commended the police officers for remaining composed during the gun battle which lasted for about half an hour.
“We will continue to hunt down these ruthless criminals who are terrorising innocent civilians in Inanda. It is quite obvious that they are hell-bent on taking down police officers and will not submit themselves to face the might of the law,” Mkhwanazi said.
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