DURBAN - POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has confirmed that the same team of detectives who worked to arrest more than 50 people over the Phoenix murders in July, has been tasked with tracking down the suspects behind two massacres that claimed the lives of 11 people in Umlazi.
On Tuesday, three gunmen entered a house in W Section, where they opened fire on a group of people. Police said five people were shot in the head, and three others sustained serious injuries and were rushed to hospital.
On Sunday, six people were shot dead in an attack in U Section.
KZN SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said four people died at the scene while two others died in hospital.
Cele travelled to KZN where he met with police on Thursday.
[HAPPENING NOW] Police Minister General Bheki Cele arrives at the U section in Umlazi Durban following the #UmlaziKillings that’s claimed the lives of 11 people in less than three days. pic.twitter.com/o81rgM5Djm— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) September 2, 2021
[LATEST] Police Minister reveals that 56 people have now been arrested for their alleged roles in the #Phoenix murders. He says the same team of detectives that’s cracking these murder cases is also investigating the #UmlaziKillings pic.twitter.com/rGWJQaZqSZ— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) September 2, 2021
Cele said while the police are yet to make arrests on both cases, they are following up on a strong lead in the one incident set to shed more light into the motive and whether or not the shootings are related.
“Most of those killed in both these incidents, including the 14 year old boy, were sadly people at the wrong place at the wrong time, but some were unsavoury characters who were linked to criminality taking place in surrounding areas,” said Cele.
He said a profile of one of the deceased shows that he was a convicted criminal who was arrested and given a 12-year suspended sentence for serious crimes, including counts of armed robbery and possession of an illegal firearm.
“However, police must find the killers of these 11 people, regardless of who they were and what they did.”