‘Arrests imminent’

2019-03-12 15:56
Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Police Minister Bheki Cele.

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has roped in members of the political killings task team to probe the murder of senior Msunduzi traffic officer Sifiso Tsoro Gwala, who was gunned down alongside his two friends in Imbali on Saturday.

Cele, who visited the families of the victims in Imbali Unit 2 on Monday, said he had made a commitment to the families that the perpetrators will be arrested and put behind bars as soon as possible.

“To ensure a thorough investigation, we have resolved to bring in the task team to look into this case ... If an arrest is not made in the next few hours, what we can guarantee is that by the weekend we will have a full picture of what exactly transpired. Within that period we would also have identified the perpetrators and if still at large, we will be pursuing them,” he said.

Gwala and three friends — Nathi Zondo, Nhlanhla Zibula and Mfundo Mtshali — were watching a soccer match in the outbuilding of the traffic officer’s home when unknown people burst inside and opened fire on them.

Gwala, Zondo and Zibula died at the scene while Mtshali survived. He is currently in hospital.

Saturday’s shooting is the latest in a series of killings in Imbali and other surrounding areas.

While a number of the killings have been linked to the current tensions within the ANC in the Moses Mabhida region, Cele declined to say whether Saturday’s killings were related to the ongoing political violence in the region. “As we speak investigators are already busy at work.”

He said only after the investigation was completed would the motive for the killings be known.

However, Cele, who was accompanied by members of the ANC regional leadership, said he has since picked up that there was some “instability” in the area. “I have been told there are some kinds of upheavals within the community,” he said.

The task team has made several breakthroughs in high profile murders in recent months, with several suspects currently on trial.

Given the task team’s success rate, Cele said it was highly likely that arrests would be made soon.

“We are talking about a team that has arrested more than 100 murder suspects in the province within a period of six months — that gives you an idea of what these killers are up against,” he said.

Gwala, who was also an SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) shop steward in Msunduzi, was robbed of his firearm during the shooting.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder

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