Glebelands hostel clash leaves elderly man dead

2015-05-26 08:35
(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Durban - Faction battles between rival blocks in the Glebelands men’s hostel in Umlazi left one man dead and two others badly wounded on Monday night.

Police officers who tried to separate the warring mobs came under heavy fire and had to call for back-up before using armoured vehicles to storm the hostel.

The situation at the hostel remains tense.

Shots fired

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said that officers had responded to the hostel after receiving a report of shots that had been fired.

 “When police arrived they found two groups of men numbering around 300 that were attacking one another that appeared to be from two separate blocks in the hostel. When our officers tried to intervene they themselves came under attack,” he said.

“We ended up using armoured vehicles to penetrate the compound and once the dust had settled we found the body of an elderly man who had been shot and killed. Two other hostel dwellers were badly wounded.”

Naicker added that while many police vehicles had been damaged by a barrage of rocks that were flung at them, no officers had been injured.

Monday night’s incident is the latest in a string of violent attacks, including several murders.

28 deaths in last 14 months

In the last two weeks alone, four people have been murdered, bringing to 28 the number of people who have died in the past 14 months.

Sipho Ndovela, 43, was shot and killed outside the Umlazi Court on Monday, May 18, and Sphamandla Hlongwane, 40, was shot outside his room at the hostel on Thursday, May 21.

A third man, identified as Thulani Kathi, was killed on May 22.

Ndovela had been a witness in two cases against a hostel warlord and Hlongwane had been a member of the alleged warlord’s faction.

At the centre of the violent clashes at the hostel appears to be a bed-for-cash extortion scam, with residence coerced into paying “warlords” for protection.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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