23-year-old killed in hail of bullets

2016-11-24 10:10
Some of the bullet holes on 23-year-old Abethu Nzimande’s car after he was gunned down in the Henley Dam area early on Tuesday morning.

Some of the bullet holes on 23-year-old Abethu Nzimande’s car after he was gunned down in the Henley Dam area early on Tuesday morning. (Dundo Majozi)

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Pietermaritzburg - Eighteen.

That’s how many bullets pierced a young Pietermaritzburg man when an armed gang opened fire on his car in the Henley Dam area early on Tuesday morning.

The 23-year-old’s car was rattled with more than 40 bullet holes from high-powered assault rifles after what police sources described as a “clear and brutal assassination”.

The motive for the killing has yet to be established.

The victim, Abethu Nzimande, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition, but died soon afterwards from the multiple gunshot wounds he sustained.

Nzimande, who is originally from Swaziland, was described by his friends as a “well-known socialite” in the city.

He worked at a local engineering firm after he recently completed his studies.

According to one of his close friends who asked not to be named, Nzimande was “chilling” with a group of friends at a house in Sobantu on Monday evening, a few hours before the shooting occurred.

Nzimande then left the Sobantu house to meet another friend in Scottsville.

He was shot about an hour or two later while returning to his home in the Henley Dam area.

The friend said, according to the information he had received from police and bystanders, that Nzimande had slowed his car down at a railway line when he was overtaken by another vehicle which sped past him.

It is believed the driver of the vehicle swung the car around and blocked the road in front of Nzimande.

An unknown number of men then exited the vehicle, all of them allegedly carrying high-powered firearms.

The men opened fire on Nzimande, wounding him extensively on the right side of his body, before speeding off.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela said police received a call from a community member who said there were shots fired in the area.

When police arrived, they found Nzimande’s black Golf riddled with bullet holes and later discovered that Nzimande had been rushed to a nearby hospital. Ntombela said when police got to the hospital, Nzimande had already died.

He had sustained 10 bullet wounds to the right thigh, six to the buttocks, one on his right foot and one on his middle finger.

Nothing was stolen from Nzimande or from his car.

Ntombela said the motive for the killing is unknown and no arrests have been made thus far.

“He [Nzimande] was a fun-loving person who was full of jokes. He was a family man and has always provided for them. I cannot understand why anybody would want to do this to him,” the friend said.

Attempts to contact Nzimande’s family on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  gang violence  |  crime

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