File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).
Durban - Six suspects who robbed a tavern and murdered a patron in the KwaMnyandu area of Pietermaritzburg on Saturday have been apprehended with a community's help following a shootout with police. 

According to one of KwaZulu-Natal's police spokespersons, captain Nqobile Gwala, the patron was murdered at about 7pm. "Without uttering a word, a 24-year-old man was shot in the head. He was declared dead at the scene," said Gwala.

She added that the suspects fled in a vehicle and Plessislaer police were "immediately" notified of the incident. 

Information was received about the suspects' vehicle seen driving on the Edendale main road. "The police intercepted the vehicle on the road, near to a school, where a shootout ensued." 

Gwala said a 24-year-old man sustained gunshot wounds to the legs and was taken to hospital, where he remains under police guard. An unlicensed revolver with ammunition was found in his possession. 

The remaining five suspects - aged between 22 and 25 - fled in different directions, but were apprehended with the help of community members. The getaway vehicle was impounded by police. 

Charges of murder, attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition were being investigated by Plessislaer police. 

The suspects are expected to appear on Monday at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court.

Provincial police commissioner, lieutenant-general Khombinkosi Jula, commended the officers for the speedy arrests.

"We would like to thank the community for their partnership in the fight against crime. We will continue with our positive approach and to ensure that all the perpetrators of crime are brought to book,” he said.

African News Agency (ANA)