WATCH: Ululation as man accused of killing teenager for alleged alcohol theft shot dead in Tongaat
Johannesburg – There was ululation and joy at the murder scene of a 26-year-old man who was gunned down by unknown suspects in Tongaat on Thursday morning.
The deceased, Mlungisi Thabethe, was gunned down in his VW Polo while trying to evade gunmen on Thursday.
Thabethe was one of the seven men accused of the brutal murder of Andile 'Bobo' Mbuthu, a teenage boy who was beaten to death for allegedly stealing alcohol during the lockdown in Tongaat last year.
Thabethe was the owner of the Magagula’s Lounge from which Mbuthu had allegedly stolen alcohol. The teenager had been last seen alive at the shisanyama after a video surfaced showing him badly bruised and lying in a pool of blood.
Members of a small community near Tongaat descended on the crime scene on Thursday, where they ululated in joy as Thabethe’s body was loaded into the back of a mortuary van.
IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said the deceased sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the body from a high-calibre rifle.
“On arrival of paramedics, it was established that the single occupant of a vehicle had sustained multiple high-calibre rifle gunshot wounds to their body.
“The person was declared dead on scene. It is alleged that the shooting has ties to the taxi industry,” said Herbst.
Following Mbuthu’s death in May last year and Thabethe’s bail release in September, it is said that he took over the running of his family’s taxi business, and it is believed his death stems from tension in the industry.
A source said Thabethe had been running his family taxi business, which had a fleet of about eight minibus taxis, since the shisanyama business seized to operate after the community backlash surrounding Mbuthu’s murder.
The other men charged for murder and kidnapping alongside Thabethe were Andile Nhleko, 27, Mncedisi Mzobe, 27, Siyanda Msweli, 26, Lindani Ndlovu, 26, Malusi Mthembu, 27 and a minor, 16, who cannot be named.
IOL sent questions to the police in KZN for official comment around the murder. They had not responded at the time of publishing.
This story will be updated when they respond.