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Wentworth ‘gang members’ die in shoot-out with cops

Police seized three pistols, two of which had their serial numbers filed off, after a shoot-out with suspected gang members in Wentworth, south of Durban. Picture: SAPS

Police seized three pistols, two of which had their serial numbers filed off, after a shoot-out with suspected gang members in Wentworth, south of Durban. Picture: SAPS

Published May 8, 2022

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Durban – A 27-year-old man is under police guard in hospital and two others were killed in a shoot-out between Durban Metro Police and alleged gangsters in Wentworth, south of Durban, on Saturday.

The late Saturday night shooting took place at Tuin and Lansdowne roads in Wentworth.

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Wentworth community activist Desmond D’Sa said two men were standing in Tuin Road when a car drove past them. The occupants in the car, he said, shot at the two men. D’sa was not sure if the incident was related to drug turf wars.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala said two men were shot and taken to the hospital for medical attention.

“Armed with information on the suspects, police began a search of the area and located them on Vasco Road. Upon seeing the police officers, the suspects allegedly opened fire and there was a shoot-out. A chase ensued and the suspects lost control of their vehicle along Lansdowne Road.”

Gwala said the three occupants alighted and allegedly fired shots at the police. She said a 24-year-old man, an occupant of the car, was declared dead at the scene.

Three suspected gang members in this vehicle were shot during a shoot-out with police in Wentworth, south of Durban. Picture: SAPS

Police said two others were wounded. They were taken to the hospital, where a 31-year-old man later died.

Police seized three pistols, two of which had their serial numbers filed off.

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The suspects’ vehicle was seized for further investigation.

Wentworth SAPS are investigating charges of attempted murder as well as unlawful possession of firearms.

Gwala said the arrested suspect will appear in court as soon as he is discharged from hospital.

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Police suspect a rival gang known as the Cartel was involved in the earlier shooting.

Durban Metro Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said a full report will be given to the SAPS.

“It is reported that the victims’ families and onlookers arrived at the scene and confronted the officers. The Durban Metro Public Order Police Unit arrived at the scene because the crime scene became tense and the crowd was hostile and needed to be managed,” Sewpersad said.

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D’Sa said the problem was with the justice system and parents.

“The area has been dealing with gangsterism for decades. Previously parents were reined in to take control of their children. The parents dealt with them decisively. Now parents have lost control.”

D’Sa said community leadership was lacking except when it came to handing over food parcels and Covid-19 relief. He said people were critical of the violence on social media platforms but did not want to go out and make a difference in their own streets.

“Nobody cares. Nobody wants to stand up and get their hands dirty. Parents and leaders are turning a blind eye. Even the courts are releasing the accused to continue the violence. We are burying people every week in this community. We need a change of lifestyle for the youth,” D’Sa said.

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