Suspect killed in Hilton shootout was shot six times ‘at close range’

2017-04-06 14:02
Sthabiso Ngcobo (19), one of the five suspected robbers who were killed in a shootout with police in Hilton last week.

Sthabiso Ngcobo (19), one of the five suspected robbers who were killed in a shootout with police in Hilton last week. (Supplied)

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One of the five suspected robbers killed in a shootout with police in Hilton last week had attended one of the country’s most elite private schools.

Sthabiso Ngcobo (19) was a former pupil at St Peter’s College, Sandton, his family told The Witness in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

The school, which charges more than R100 000 a year in school fees, which excludes costs such as uniforms, textbooks, camps and tours, boasts an indoor aquatic centre.

Police this week identified and released the identities of the five suspected robbers. Thokozani Njabulo Khanyile (30), Thuso Lebohang Kuali (21), Siyabonga Siphesihle Mfeka (23), Ntobeki Mpumelelo Mswane (28) and Ngcobo were killed last week.

The five are alleged to have been linked to the recent spate of break-ins and robberies that have occurred in the area.

One policeman, Sergeant Jabulani Bushula, was shot in the face as he pursued the men and was rushed to hospital.

Ngcobo’s aunt, who refused to be named in fear of victimisation, told The Witness that their family are still very aggrieved about the whole incident.

She claims that police have not given them any explanation as to why their son was killed.

“We were called to identify his body, but no one told us anything. We don’t know why he was killed and who killed him.

“All the information we know is what we have heard from other people or read in the newspaper,” she said.

She said what hurt them the most was the crime scene pictures of the dead suspects that have been circulating on social media.

“The pictures started circulating just after the shooting. They are very brutal and explicit and should not be seen by the public, but somehow they made their way onto social media.

“It was not nice seeing pictures of our loved ones being shared and posted all over social media, they are humans too and should be treated with dignity,” she said.

She claimed that the pictures were taken by officials who were at the crime scene, and pleaded with the Police Department to intervene and get to the bottom of the matter.

Ngcobo’s aunt claimed when other family members arrived at the crime scene and wanted to know what had happened, some police officers threatened them with teargas.

“We as a family have lost all faith in the police. I am not condoning the behaviour of these boys, but [we are upset over] the cruel and brutal manner in which they were killed,” she said.

The aunt said she had gone to see Ngcobo’s body twice at the mortuary. She said Ngcobo has four bullet holes in his chest, one in his arm and another in the back of his head.

“I am no expert, but by just looking at those bullet holes you can tell that he was shot at close range.

“Could they have not reprimanded and arrested them instead?” she said.

Ngcobo’s aunt described Ngcobo as a boy who was raised well, and said he was a quiet and very respectful young man. She said he comes from a good and loving family and went to one of the best private schools in South Africa.

She said when his mother died in Johannesburg, Ngcobo came back to Pietermaritzburg and went to Haythorne Secondary School, but left school before completing his matric.

A family member of another of the suspected robbers told The Witness that they still do not know how their son was killed.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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