WATCH: Five suspected drug dealers linked to Durban drive-by shootings killed in gun battle with police



Published Apr 1, 2023


Police in KwaZulu-Natal have shot dead five suspected drug dealers and recovered drugs, firearms and money following an intelligence-driven operation in Durban on Saturday.

According to SAPS national spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, the men are part of a syndicate linked to a spate of shootings and drug-related crimes in the city.

In a statement, Mathe said police had arrested a suspected drug dealer earlier in the day.

She said the KZN SAPS anti-gang unit was searching for suspects linked to the murder of Brandon ‘Puff’ Kalicharan, his wife, Jeconiah Naidoo-Kalicharan and their nine-year-old daughter in Springfield, on March 21.

"They spotted a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle used in the commission of the crime.

Family of three killed in a drive-by shooting on Peters Road in the Springfield Park area of Durban. Picture: Emer-G-Med Paramedics

“Following the arrest of the suspect who is currently in police custody, further investigation led the team to a premises in Morningside, Durban where five other suspected drug dealers were killed during a shoot-out with the police’s anti-gang unit.

Five firearms including three rifles and two pistols, money and drugs worth an undisclosed amount of money have been seized by police," Mathe said.

Drugs were also found at a second vehicle in Hillcrest.

Mathe said that the suspect in custody will likely face charges of possession of drugs, illegal possession of firearms and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Speaking from the scene of the shoot-out, SAPS Minister, Bheki Cele said the city has been plagued by execution-styled shootings.

"A multidisciplinary team was set up and this is one of the culminations of their work. We have been having problems in Wentworth, Newlands East and in other areas. One of the guys here, his father is a cop, so the police have done a good job. Altogether, police found one AK, one R4 and one AR-15 rifle and pistols and a lot of money and a lot of drugs have been found,“ Cele said.

He added that police are going to continue their efforts to clean up areas and eliminate kingpins with operations extending to Cape Town and Gauteng.

The Independent Police investigative Directorate also attended to the scene.