Kranskop turns into war zone

2017-05-17 06:02

NOT only did bullets fly through the air in Kranskop on Monday, 6 May, but the following day the Kranskop SAPS were again being targeted by firearm-wielding attackers.

As reported last week, a gang of up to 20 men attempted to break into Kharodia's Wholesalers on Monday night. Police chief Lieutenant-Colonel Minnaar told the Greytown Gazette that seven of the gang were attempting to break in while five guarded them and the others watched the vehicles.

Field Security guards responded to the alarm, there was an exchange of fire and guard Bonginkosi Zondi was critically injured. Realising they were outnumbered the guards rushed to the police station for assistance. The gang followed them and a fierce gun battle ensued with off-duty police bravely making their way under cover in the dark to the station to assist their colleagues.

The SAPS pushed the attackers back with a barrage of fire. Eventually the gang members jumped into their vehicles and drove off to Eshowe pursued by Kranskop SAPS who continued chasing and shooting at them until they ran out of ammunition near Eshowe.

A case of burglary, attempted murder and murder has been opened at Kranskop police station and an intensive manhunt is under way.

There was even more drama and close calls on Tuesday when Kranskop police chief and her team were cornered on a bridge over the Tugela while being shot at with R5 rifles.

A dispute had broken out between bakkie owners and the national taxi association representatives who said they had come to assist in regard to the new regulations banning the carrying of passengers in a bakkie’s goods compartment. However, the main disagreement was in regard to the taxis not delivering passengers and their goods at their required drop-off point, which the bakkie drivers do.

A meeting at the Tribal Court between representatives of the Department of Transport, taxi association and bakkie drivers had to be aborted as no agreement could be reached.

The dispute then developed into an even more heated confrontation with the police in hot pursuit of the bakkie gang members, who lined up on the far side of the Tugela bridge, Nkandla, using high powered hunting rifles to pin down Colonel Minnaar and her team on the bridge.

When a bullet richotted hitting a piece of cement which hit the colonel they retreated to a tuck shop on the other side of the bridge and called for assistance. The National Intervention Unit flew in by helicopter from Durban and escorted the team back to Kranskop.

Colonel Minnaar expressed her appreciation to the assistance from the dog unit in Pietermaritzburg, Lieutenant-Colonel Joe Moodley, Sudesh Maharaj and SAPS members from Kranskop, Greytown, Rietvlei, Muden and Matimatola for their courage and support in these incidents.


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