Police dragnet for ‘killer’ cop

2015-09-07 10:36
Zandile Mahlaba (21) from Greytown who was allegedly murdered in Mpophomeni by her ex-boyfriend, an Msinga police officer.

Zandile Mahlaba (21) from Greytown who was allegedly murdered in Mpophomeni by her ex-boyfriend, an Msinga police officer. (Supplied)

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A LOVE triangle murder rocked ­Mpophomeni yesterday when a young woman was gunned down, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, a policeman from Msinga.

When The Witness went to print ­yesterday, police were still searching through sugarcane in New Hanover, in the hunt for “Boyzie” Dladla (30), an Msinga police officer who allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend, Zandile Mahlaba (20), in the head while she was returning from a date with another man.

Dladla is also wanted by police for attempting to murder Mahlaba’s ­partner, known only as “Prince”, who was shot in the back as he fled the ­murder scene.

Prince, who is believed to be a police officer at Mpophomeni, was rushed to Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg where he remains in a stable condition.

According to Mahlaba’s brother, Thubelihle (19), he was at a friend’s house near their Greytown home when he was approached by Dladla who ­offered to take him out for drinks.

Thubelihle said that while they were at a Greytown petrol station, Dladla started making conversation, asking if he knew that his sister was spending the weekend with another man in ­Mpophomeni.

Unaware of his sister’s new ­relationship, Thubelihle said he accompanied Dladla to Mpophomeni to bring his sister back home to Greytown.

“He was calm the entire way to ­Mpophomeni. It was my first time ­actually speaking to him at length. I thought we were just going to fetch her,” Thubelihle said.

When they located Prince’s house, the two men found a woman on the premises who told them Prince and Mahlaba had gone out on a date.

Thubelihle said Dladla parked his car, a Golf 5, at a distance away from the house and the two waited, watching the house, for almost two hours when the couple eventually returned.

When the couple had been spotted, Dladla allegedly sped towards them and got out of his car, telling Mahlaba that they had come to fetch her.

Thubelihle said his sister refused to leave with Dladla.

Thubelihle said he approached Prince and suggested they leave Dladla and Mahlaba to speak when he heard his sister “pleading”.

“She was pleading that he [Dladla] stay away from her and kept insisting that she did not want to leave ­Mpophomeni with him. After their ­argument, she walked away from him,” Thubelihle said.

“She had only known him [Dladla] for a year and she dumped him ­recently.”

Dladla then approached Prince, and according to Thubelihle, spoke to him “calmly”.

During that conversation, it is ­believed that Mahlaba walked back to call Prince away.

At that moment, Dladla allegedly drew his state-issued firearm and shot her in the head at point blank range, killing her instantly.

It is believed Prince tried to run away, but Dladla chased after him and ­allegedly shot him in the back. Prince managed to escape.

Thubelihle said he was holding his sister’s body and weeping when Dladla returned and sat on the pavement.

Dladla then allegedly took his gun, pointed it under his own chin and fired a shot, in an attempt to take his own life — but the bullet exited through his cheek.

Thubelihle said he managed to get the gun and removed the magazine.

“When the shot went off, he [Dladla] threw the gun to the floor. I grabbed it and took out the magazine and cocked the gun to release the bullets from the chamber. He demanded the gun back, and I returned it empty.”

When Mpophomeni police arrived at the scene, which is just more than one kilometre from the police station, some ­officers attended to Dladla, not ­knowing the circumstances of the shooting.

The moment police left Dladla and walked towards him and his sister, Dladla jumped into their police van, which was left unlocked, and sped off: “I had his car keys, you see,” Thubelihle said.

According to police sources who asked not to be named, the wounded Dladla was believed to be on his way back to Msinga when he stopped at the New Hanover police station, more than 60 km from Mpophomeni.

At the station, officers believed the off-duty policeman dressed in casual attire and covered in blood was the victim of a crime and rushed to his aid.

Dladla is believed to have overpowered an officer who tried to aid him, stealing the officer’s gun in the scuffle.

Police sources said Dladla fired the weapon at officers in the station before running out and fleeing into sugarcane plantations nearby.

A manhunt was launched by K9 unit members and the police’s Search and Rescue teams who combed through the sugarcane throughout the day ­yesterday.

At the time The Witness went to print yesterday, police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said no arrests had been made.

“A case of murder and attempted murder was opened at Mpophomeni police station,” Naicker said.

Thubelihle described his sister as a hard worker who was employed at a Greytown tavern.

“To me, she was a father, a mother, a sister and a friend who worked hard to provide for us. She would have turned 21 on Tuesday [tomorrow] and we were planning a surprise party for her,” Thubelihle said.

“She liked to read and go out with friends. My mother is going through a very difficult time and I still cannot believe what happened.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  crime  |  police

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