Hijackers kill man for sister's car

2014-06-17 12:02

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Thamsanqa Magubane, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - A 26-year-old man was shot dead in front of his horrified friends as he tried to protect his sister’s vehicle from hijackers over the weekend.

Macebo Nzimande and a friend were parked outside a house in the Grange area on Saturday evening waiting for another friend. While standing outside the car, they were confronted by two armed men who demanded the car.

The Witness was told Nzimande resisted and tried to run towards the car.

"They demanded his vehicle and shot him twice on the left hand side of his abdomen and on the right of his back and he died. The suspects took the vehicle and fled the scene. No arrests have been made," police spokesperson Jay Naicker said.

Senseless

A grandmother of one of the friends who lives where the shooting took place, said paramedics tried to save Nzimande, but ER24 paramedics had to declare him dead at the scene.

She described the shooting as tragic and senseless.

She asked that her name and that of her grandson who Nzimande was waiting for not be published for fear they may be targeted by those who killed Nzimande.

“This was a painful thing that happened on Saturday. We could not even sleep. People were coming in to check on us all night to see if we were okay.”

She said Nzimande and her grandson were friends who worked together at the Treasury Department. Nzimande was part of the administrative staff.

Her grandson, Nzimande and another unidentified friend had left on Friday to attend a soccer tournament organised by the Treasury in Richards Bay. They returned on Saturday evening.

On their way back, the three decided to extend the evening and go to Club 033 in Imbali, but first made a stop in White Road.

Nzimande had stopped at his sister’s flat and borrowed the car they would drive to Club 033 in. “On their way back we had called my grandson to find out where they were and he said they were on their way, and they arrived at the house shortly after that call.”

'Like a firecracker'

She said her grandson jumped out of the car, which was parked just outside the gate, and rushed inside to his room to fetch something.

“I was inside with another one of my grandchildren and we heard a sound. It was not a big sound... like a firecracker.

“We then saw my grandson going towards the gate and moments later he came rushing into the house with blood on his chest.

“He was crying, saying they had shot Nzimande. He held him and he was still breathing at the time.

“While my grandson was in his room, the two friends got out of the car and walked across the road where they [urinated],” she continued.

She said the men approached them and said they were taking the car. Nzimande tried to protect the car, which still had the key in the ignition, but the hijackers shot him first. They then fled with the car.

“It seems that the young man had been called on because he was not supposed to be here in that car.

“The bus returning from the soccer would have dropped him off near his sister’s flat, but instead he borrowed his sister’s car.

“I was very afraid to face my grandson not knowing how he was taking this, but he seems to have accepted the tragedy.

“The attack was a shock in an area that is relatively safe. There are the occasional muggings but there has never been anything like this … It’s so safe here that at times we do not even lock the door.”

Fears

She said the family were now worried that they too could have been targeted. “We have a similar kind of a car that belongs to my daughter-in-law.

“Now we are not sure whether they came here looking for that car and just found the other Polo parked outside. We are very concerned about the situation.”

Musa Cebisa from Treasury said their department is saddened by the cold-blooded murder of Nzimande. “The department has indeed suffered a loss.”

He said they would not comment further out of respect for the family.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  hijackings
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