MEC warns fugitive

2010-11-11 00:00

“YOU can run but you can’t hide.” This was the stern warning that Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu gave to Ntshongweni massacre fugitive Khetha “Bhejane” Nxele yesterday morning.

Mchunu was addressing the media in Durban on issues of crime and traffic offences at Elangeni Hotel.

He described the massacres at ­Ntshongweni and Tshelimnyama, which claimed the lives of 10 people last month, as embarrassing and said they should never be tolerated. Police believe the murders are related.

“The killing of four people in Tshelimnyama, including a six-month-old infant, left a bad reputation and image for our province.

“Bhejane Nxele is still on the run, but we would like to warn him that the law has a long arm and can reach him wherever he is,” Mchunu said.

Giving an example of how police are ready to deal with hardened criminals, Mchunu recalled an incident in which four suspects were killed as they tried to get away with R1,2 million. They had stolen the cash in Ndwedwe earlier this month.

The men allegedly fired shots at police using rifles, a pistol and AK-47s in Inanda.

Mchunu said the national and provincial police departments will soon announce plans to deal with such crimes before and during the festive season.

“Nonetheless, if you have been following what happened in Inanda you will realise that they [police] are ready.

“The reason there have been lots of criminals killed by police is because there are lots of criminals in the province,” he said.

Operation Hlasela (attack), another plan to fight dangerous crime, will be launched in Pinetown today. This will be followed by launches in Mooi River, Estcourt and Kranskop.

Mchunu emphasised that police must use state firearms to protect themselves when they are cornered by “dangerously” armed criminals. He said community members must also participate in the fight against crime through community policing forums.

“In suburbs you find people sitting with legal firearms in their houses yet criminals come into those houses and rob the occupants.

“Citizens have a right to protect themselves by using legal weapons if their lives are in danger.

“Instead of complaining about lack of police vehicles, people must use their own vehicles to transport criminals to police stations,” he said.

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