Police act to end blood feuds

2012-10-19 00:00

POLICE clamping down on clan fights in Zululand have arrested nine men and recovered several firearms.

The Eshowe SAPS Cluster task team under the leadership of Captain Mxoleleni Dube have arrested nine men believed to be responsible for the murder of Mkhubuvele Biyela (56) of Qomintaba area, Ncemane, Melmoth.

Biyela was shot and killed by several armed men at his homestead on 18 June.

The attack is believed to have been a revenge attack by the Mtshali family after Mqhubana Bongani Biyela (41) was arrested for the murder of Bhekokwakhe Mtshali (53), who was shot and killed while attending a traditional function on June 10.

The arrest of the men coincided with the recovery of three shotguns, a pistol, a home-made pistol and several spears believed to have been used in the Biyela murder.

The men, aged between 28 to 58, are due to appear in the Melmoth Magistrate’s Court today.

The court heard this week how police were deployed to Eshowe to maintain peace in Ngudwini. On August 4, a group of armed assailants attacked people who were attending a traditional function at a homestead in the Ngudwini area. The suspects opened fire on the group, fatally wounding six men and injuring 17 others.

Melmoth Magistrate’s Court heard that police from the public order and dog units had raided three homesteads in Nkandla in the early hours of June 22, and recovered three firearms.

Also appearing in court yesterday on charges of illegally being in possession of a firearm and ammunition was Siyathokoza Mashiyane (25).

Two police officers testified that at around midnight on June 22, they had received information from the crime intelligence unit about unlicensed firearms. They went to Mashiyane’s homestead in the Nkandlwini area.

Police units arrived at around 3 am and woke the occupants of the house. The accused had co-operated and willingly pointed out the firearm. He had said he was keeping it in lieu of a debt owed to him by another man, police said.

The 9 mm automatic firearm had eight live bullets in the magazine but no serial number.

The accused told the court that he had been assaulted and threatened by police. However, the police officers denied this.

The case continues on 23 October. Mashiyane is out on bail.

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