MEC dispatches team after KZN shoot-outs

2014-10-12 19:07
KZN Transport MEC Willies Mchunu

KZN Transport MEC Willies Mchunu

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Johannesburg - Community safety MEC Willie Mchunu dispatched a team, consisting of transport head of department Sibusiso Gumbi, management from the department of community safety, and Ladysmith mayor Vincent Madlala to look into the two shootings that left 14 people dead in Ladysmith at the weekend.

"I have received a briefing from the team which was in Ladysmith today [Sunday] and it is clear that the community is in fear after these two incidents," Mchunu said in a statement.

"The modus operandi makes it difficult, at face value, to conclude that the two shootings incidents are not related," he said.

Mchunu would visit the area on Monday and meet with the community and police.

A total of 14 people were killed in two shootings and an accident in Ezakheni, Ladysmith, at the weekend, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Sunday.

Captain Thulani Zwane said five people were shot dead at a car wash in Ezakheni's B-Section in Ladysmith, while another person was killed in an accident caused by a shooting on Peters Road. A further eight people were killed in an accident when a kombi, travelling on the same road, tried to avoid the shooting.

All the incidents happened on Saturday.

"The five people, all men, were sitting at the car wash around 6.30pm yesterday when occupants of a [Toyota] Avanza opened fire towards them," said Zwane.

"All five were fatally wounded."

Police found spent cartridges of R5 rifles and 9mm pistols at the scene.

"The motive is unknown and no arrests have been made."

Zwane said it was unclear if the shooting was linked to another shooting incident in Ladysmith earlier in the day.

He said a Mercedes-Benz with five occupants had been travelling along Peters Road and was followed by a VW Polo.

"Occupants of the VW Polo opened fire towards the Mercedes and as a result the Mercedes lost control. One person died from the Mercedes and four others were injured and taken to hospital," he said.

Police opened a case of murder and four counts of attempted murder.

No arrests had been made yet.

This incident was followed by another accident on the same road.

"A kombi that was following the two vehicles [the Mercedes and the Polo] had a head-on collision with an oncoming truck."

Zwane said the kombi driver was trying to avoid the shooting when the accident happened.

Four occupants of the kombi died on scene and several other passengers were taken to hospital.

"Later, four others died in hospital," said Zwane.

Eight counts of culpable homicide was opened.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu expressed shock on Sunday at the incidents.

"We [government] are lost for words and we send our condolences to the families of the deceased," he said.

"We condemn the brutal nature of crime that has been committed. I am in constant contact with the MEC for transport and community safety Willies Mchunu who is in Ladysmith today to ascertain exactly what caused this tragedy."

Mchunu said he viewed the violence in Ladysmith as "intolerable".

"We will do everything in our power to ensure that the recurrence of such destructive behaviour is nipped in the bud. Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Mmamonnye Ngobeni said she was saddened by the news and sent her condolences to the affected families.

‘We appeal to the members of the community to work with the police in solving these cases by providing information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators," she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents  |  crime

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