‘Whoonga gang’ kills Kloof man

2013-04-06 00:00

A KLOOF man yesterday became the latest victim of the so-called panga or whoonga gang that has been terrorising the Highway area.

Hours later, police announced the arrests of several suspected members of the gang. One of them is suspected in the early morning murder of Rodney Bradley (51).

Bradley was shot five times after going to investigate why his dogs were barking between 4 and 5 am, a witness said.

The neighbour, who did not want to be named, said a group of men sneaked up on Bradley’s property from the nearby railway line. He was shot when he tried to set his dogs on the intruders.

The thugs ransacked his home, stealing a laptop. When his wife locked herself in the bathroom, the robbers tried to shoot the lock out.

One man was arrested and police are looking for another.

Yesterday, police announced other arrests of suspected members of the whoonga gang, who were found in possession of stolen goods.

Thabani Zondi (29), Mfanakhona Mbambo (22), Nkosikhona Gcinokwakhe Ndlovu (22) and Sibusiso Blessing Ngcobo (28) appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The man arrested for Bradley’s murder has yet to appear. He was found with the stolen laptop and a 7,65 pistol that was allegedly used during the robbery.

Bradley’s neighbour said: “We have dogs and alarms, but it doesn’t deter these guys. They shot Bradley at point-blank range.

“If these incidents are drug-related, then I’m afraid not much can be done. These guys are just stealing small things like laptops and looking for quick cash. You can’t protect yourself against something like that,” he said.

When Weekend Witness visited the area yesterday afternoon, security guards in various estates were on high alert and highly visible.

Ruth Juckes, a member of the Kloof Community Policing Forum, said one reason for the attacks was that the criminals thought Kloof and Hillcrest were wealthy areas with “lots of pickings”.

“These attacks are well planned. It is part of a syndicate that consists of a lot of watching and planning. In the end, everyone has to step up security and government has to increase and equip the police force,” she said.

An earlier victim of the gang, Ryan Sutherland, whose stabbing was caught on CCTV, said he felt “a little safer” after the arrests.

Sutherland was attacked when he went out to his garage on March 2.

He said on Thursday he was considering moving his family to Canada after he was attacked.

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