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uMlazi community in fear after nine people are shot and killed

A house in Q section at Umlazi, where for people were gunned down in a mass shooting. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/ African News Agency (ANA)

A house in Q section at Umlazi, where for people were gunned down in a mass shooting. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 14, 2023


Durban — Police are probing the deaths of nine people killed in separate shooting incidents in the uMlazi area, south of Durban, at the weekend.

Six people were shot dead and one person died in hospital in uMlazi’s Q Section on Friday night. The uMlazi community is living in fear after two more people were shot dead on Saturday night.

According to eThekwini ward councillor Brian Sindane, two victims were on their way to the tuckshop when they were shot dead on Saturday.

“What I heard is that around 8pm on Saturday, two males were shot dead in the same area on their way to the tuckshop on different occasions. I have also received a call that one of the Friday mass shooting survivors who was admitted to the hospital has died,” said Sindane.

Sindane said that they would hold a meeting with the victims’ families to assist. Sindane has made requests to the police urging them to increase visibility in the area.

The KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, has called for an increase in police deployment to beef up the 72-hour manhunt for the suspects who are behind the murders.

“We are confident that police will apprehend these brazen thugs. We cannot and will not allow our communities to be held at ransom by criminal activity,” said Hlomuka.

Despite Hlomuka’s call community members are fearing for their lives. One of the community members, who did not want to be named, said they cannot sleep at night.

“Residents are worried whether some will even finish this week alive. We can’t sleep at night, everyone is scared. We don’t know who is behind these shootings.

“What we know is what was said in the news by police about something to do with an identity book,” said the community member.

Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said four suspects stormed into a house in Q Section, uMlazi, on Friday night and shot two people.

“One person was shot inside a back room while the fourth person was shot next to the outside toilet. He was also found with burn wounds.

“The same suspects reportedly proceeded to an informal settlement a few metres away from the first scene and shot three people inside a shack.

“Two were certified dead at the scene and the other was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds,” Netshiunda said.

According to the police preliminary investigation, one of the suspects demanded his identity document from the victims before shooting them.

It is believed that he was implicated and is wanted by police for another murder in which he allegedly dropped his ID document accidentally, and reports indicate that he believed that one of the deceased was in possession of his ID document.

Hlomuka said that a total of 332 illegal firearms were recovered in various operations around the province last month.

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