PMB hijack horror: two in court

2013-12-03 00:00

THE family of Sandile Hadebe, who was killed in a double hijacking in the Pietermaritzburg CBD last week, praised the police yesterday for rapid arrests in the case.

While the men arrested have not yet been charged for the attack on the other victim, Bongani Mthethwa (37), Sboniso, the brother of Hadebe, who was shot dead moments earlier in a botched hijacking, said of the arrested suspects, “They can’t be allowed to be out on bail on the streets …”

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said a police tracking team acted on a tip-off and went to a shop in Pietermaritz Street on Friday, where they arrested 21-year-old Zakhele Langa in connection with the shooting and robbery of Hadebe on Wednesday night.

He added that with information received from the informers and witnesses, they then went to St Chads at Ladysmith where they arrested Vincent Mbongwa (21).

The men have been charged with the murder and attempted robbery of Hadebe. Police are investigating a possible link to the shooting of Mthethwa.

The two will be back in court on December 10.

Hadebe (36) was shot in the back and died at the scene of the hijacking attempt.

He was returning home from work in his red Opel Corsa and as he opened his gate he was confronted by two unknown men, one armed with a firearm.

Zwane said police believe that the suspects demanded the keys to his vehicle, but that Hadebe may have thrown his keys away.

The attackers had tried to push the vehicle out of the driveway and into the road but got into difficulties, left the vehicle and fled on foot.

A short while later Bongani Mthethwa was shot in Watt Lan, just off Prince Alfred Street.

He sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen and his VW Golf was hijacked.

He was immediately taken to hospital.

Zwane said Mthethwa and a friend had been sitting in his silver Golf in Watt Lane when they were also confronted by two unknown men, one armed with a firearm.

He said the hijackers forced them out of his vehicle and demanded his car keys.

Zwane said Mthethwa and his friend got out of the car and Mthethwa handed over the keys and ran away.

“However, the armed suspect fired a shot, hitting him in the abdomen. They then got into the vehicle and fled.”

Mthethwa has been released from Grey’s Hospital since.

Hadebe’s friend Nathi Olifant said they had been friends for the past 28 years, after meeting at Kameel Hoek Primary school in New Hanover.

He described him as a good friend and a gentleman who supported his family.

Sboniso Hadebe said he still couldn’t believe what had happened.

“It’s like I am dreaming and someone will come and wake me up.

“I don’t believe that it was a hijacking only. Maybe it’s work related as he was recently promoted to be a sales representative and he was also given a company car,” said Hadebe.

Hadebe’s aunt Nomusa Msomi said the incident saddened the family.

“We ask questions that no one answers about his death.”

A woman who witnessed Hadebe’s shooting said following the murder she was planning to move away from Prince Alfred Street.

“We are not safe in this street. In the mornings you come across blood stains on the pavement. You could see that someone has been stabbed or there had been a fight,” she said.

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