Family in pain after former taxi man gunned down by ‘fake’ cops

Published Jun 22, 2024


THE Khwela family in Mpangeni are traumatised and puzzled over why three armed men allegedly posing as police officers shot and killed Phumlani Khwela, 66, on June 15.

A family member, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, said the three men knocked on the door of a house occupied by one of the wives in the Khwela family around midnight.

When they broke a window pane, a teenager in the house opened the door. “They assaulted the teenager and asked about my brothers,” said the family member.

He said the teenager told them that they were in Durban, but that didn’t stop them from looking into the neighbouring houses and assaulting other females.

When Khwela heard the ruckus, he came out and asked the men about the purpose for their intrusion. “They got him to lie on the floor and shot him in the presence of teenager,” he said.

The relative said the shooting happened around 3am, and when he and others arrived a few hours later, police were yet to attend the scene in spite of having already being alerted about the incident.

They were later told by the local station commander that the police officers on duty were still busy with work elsewhere. He said when the police officers arrived at the home, some of them dressed in civilian attire, they assaulted all the males in their yard and said they were going to kill them just like their uncle (Khwela).

“These so-called policemen did not say what they wanted, just that they wanted to kill us,” he said, adding that as a family they were confused as to who these people were.

He said Khwela previously had taxis that operated in Durban, but left the taxi business a long time ago, although his brothers still managed some of the vehicles. He doubted that the killing was linked to the taxi industry.

He said Khwela had invested in cattle and spent his time tending to them.

KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda, said police in Ntambanana were investigating a case of murder following the shooting incident.

Sunday Tribune