South African Police Constable badge. File picture: Supplied/SAPS
South African Police Constable badge. File picture: Supplied/SAPS

11 people killed in two uMlazi mass shootings in the last five days

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published Sep 2, 2021

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DURBAN - FIVE people were killed in a bloody mass shooting in uMlazi on Tuesday night, bringing the total number of people slain in Durban’s largest township to 11 – in the past five days.

According to the police, five counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder have been opened at the uMlazi police station.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the incident took place just after 8.30pm.

Naicker said 13 people were inside a house on Eduardo Mondlane Road in uMlazi W-Section when they were attacked by three unknown people.

He said the suspects opened fire, fatally wounding five men, aged between 33 and 40, in the head.

Three injured victims, aged between 27 and 29, were rushed to hospital for medical attention.

“Five women managed to escape unharmed. The motive for the attack is unknown,” Naicker said.

The dead have been identified as Bongani Thabethe, Mhlengi Blose, MkhuluBoy Ngcobo, and another man known as Brazil. The fifth victim has not yet been identified.

The incident comes after six people were shot and killed on Sunday night at uMlazi’s U-Section.

It is believed that the group had gathered at one of the houses to celebrate the release of one of them from prison.

One of the women, who managed to flee without being harmed, and asked not to be named for fear of her life, said one of suspects pointed a gun at her before she escaped, adding that the suspects were wearing masks.

“Three men were shooting nonstop towards the deceased. A gun was pointed at me twice and I thought I was going to be killed because of what was happening. When they arrived at the house, they ordered all of us, as females, to leave, saying they wouldn't do anything to us. They said they only want the men. We were just drinking and celebrating Mhlengi’s release from prison,” she said.

Ngcobo’s sister, Nomathemba Ngcobo, said her brother left his room and ran to where they had gathered, after he heard gunshots. She said that when he arrived, he was shot in the forehead and died.

She said her brother was with the group before the incident, but came back home to pick up something.

UMlazi community police forum member Sphelele Mthembu said that such criminal activities in the area were a growing concern, adding that they believed the two recent incidents were not linked to each other, due to the distance between the two areas.

He said incidents of this nature had escalated since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

“It’s very rare not to hear a gunshot and that alone speaks about there being too many guns in public. Also, the police are doing their best to try to fight crime in the area, however, they can’t be everywhere. We have also been working with the police and we hope that the suspects will be arrested soon,” Mthembu said.

THE MERCURY

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