New Year’s eve killings rock Soshanguve’s Block P

Two people arrested for the shooting that left four people dead appearing in court on Thursday. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)

Two people arrested for the shooting that left four people dead appearing in court on Thursday. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 4, 2024


Two suspects were expected to appear before the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court today in relation to the New Year’s eve mass killings that rocked the township’s Block P.

Police announced on Tuesday that the duo who were aged 30 and 33 were arrested in the morning in connection with the shooting and would be charged with murder.

The four people that were fatally shot included 14-year-old Vuyolethu Ziwele, Phomolo Malakapatlo, 28, and Constable Mpho Kgobotlo, 29 and Thandi Dlamini, 33.

According to a witness, the unknown suspects were armed with rifles and wore black bulletproof vests.

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said according to an internal police report, 80 empty rifle cartridges were found at the scene, as well as 19 cartridges from a 9mm firearm.

Nevhuhulwi said their bodies were found on the street moments after the shooting. “The circumstances that led to the shooting are unknown at this stage, and no suspects have been arrested as yet.”

Visiting the families of the slain victims on Tuesday, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi confirmed that the two were arrested.

Before visiting the families, Lesufi addressed the media at the Soshanguve Police Station after receiving a case briefing.

He said he was pleased that the police’s 72-hour activation plan had come up with results.

"After being alerted of the incident, I encouraged the provincial police to deploy all the resources we have as the state.“

He added that he had asked the police to leave no stone unturned in the case.

Lesufi said: "I have also implored police to leave no stone unturned, get to the bottom of what transpired, and ensure that everyone involved in this case is arrested.”

The township has been riddled with crime in recent years due to gangsters turf wars over the selling of drugs, while businesspeople have had to pay protection fees.

The incident has triggered growing concerns among the residents as the surge of rampant crime is evident in the township.

The business owners have reportedly been forced to pay gang protection fees.

Lesufi said Tshwane had been characterised by high levels of criminality, with many active cases in the area.

Lesufi added: “They’ve got 331 active cases to almost 332 cases. This area alone is an indication that we need to overhaul how we are policing this community.

“There is a common case where people advertise the sale of cars online and when people come to buy, they pounce on them. The police gave me a breakdown of almost 118 cases of people they’ve arrested related to some of these cases.”

He also called for an overhaul of policing in Soshanguve following the incident.

In the latest second quarter crime statistics, Soshanguve reported only 11 murders for the July to September period.

"As I've indicated, these kinds of incidents are happening frequently in this area, so whatever resources that they are needed, I've asked the MEC [for community safety] to make those available so that we can finally crack this matter."

Pretoria News

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