‘The Mamba’ shot dead

2016-01-06 08:16
The bullet-ridden bakkie used by Siyabonga Ndlovu and his gang.

The bullet-ridden bakkie used by Siyabonga Ndlovu and his gang. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A notorious criminal, no older than the average university student, has been shot dead in a fiery gunbattle with police in Greytown.

The 21-year-old would have accumulated a rap sheet longer than most hardened criminals, but managed to evade arrest for months until he was shot dead by police late on Monday night.

Siyabonga Ndlovu, known in the criminal underworld as “The Mamba”, was being hunted by police for more than two months for his alleged links to almost a dozen incidents of murder, attempted murder and hijacking — including attacks on law enforcement personnel.

After tracking Ndlovu since November and working throughout the holidays to find him, members of the Serious and Violent Crime Unit and the Combined Action Team (CAT) made a breakthrough on Sunday when they received information that Ndlovu and two accomplices were travelling in a stolen vehicle in the Ahrens area near Greytown.

At about 3 pm, the suspects saw the police waiting in ambush, and jumped out of their still-moving vehicle to flee into nearby bushes.

The unmanned vehicle rolled down the road and crashed into a stationary police car as the team of officers from all available policing units gave chase on foot, following the two police dogs who were hot on the heels of Ndlovu and his men.

After searching the bush for hours, police managed to recover a Z88 9mm pistol, believed to have been stolen by the suspects when they shot and killed a police officer in the Mbazwana area in north-eastern KZN last year.

The stolen vehicle they were travelling in had been hijacked in Richards Bay on Saturday. The suspects managed to escape, but the determined officers resumed the hunt the very next day.

On Monday afternoon, the officers returned to Greytown, where they found the trio jumping into a Nissan bakkie.

The team followed at a distance until they were out of the busy CBD before sounding the police sirens to give chase.

A high-speed chase ensued, with the trio firing at police vehicles. Officers returned fire, trying to shoot out the tyres.

The fleeing vehicle finally came to a halt and the suspects fled into the nearby bushes on the Kranskop road about 100 metres from the Dundee turn-off.

The fierce gunbattle continued through the bushes as police and their dogs chased close behind.

Eventually, officers caught up to Ndlovu and one of his accomplices, both of whom had sustained numerous gunshot wounds.

Ndlovu was dead and paramedics treated his accomplice, a 23-year-old man, and rushed him to a nearby hospital in a critical condition.

Two unlicensed 9 mm pistols and 60 unused live rounds were found in their possession.

The third suspect managed to evade arrest, running in the opposite direction.

CAT executive manager Nobin Karien said the success is a clear example of the team upholding its mandate to protect the community at all costs.

uMgungundlovu North cluster commander Brigadier Francis Bantham said it was a pleasure for her to see how well the various police units joined forces with CAT in order to apprehend the high-profile wanted suspects.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

THE trio are linked to 15 criminal cases, including five murders, six attempted murders, two armed robberies and two hijackings across the province. Ndlovu was linked to 11 of those cases.

It is believed Ndlovu was involved in two cases of attempted murder and two cases of armed robbery in Rietvlei area alone.

Also, it is believed he is linked to one case of attempted hijacking and three cases of murder in the Greytown area.

It is alleged he was also involved in one hijacking and one attempted murder in the Nseleni area near Richards Bay.

All the incidents took place between November and December last year, but it is believed Ndlovu’s crime spree continued into 2016 after he was linked to another murder in Nseleni.

According to police spokesman Warrant Officer Joshua Maistry, the case that stands out most is the murder of a police officer and a security guard in the Mbazwana area last year.

In that case, police tried to confront Ndlovu but he allegedly opened fire on them, killing a security guard and a police officer and wounding another officer and guard.

Ndlovu is also said to be behind the shooting of a Rietvlei police constable in November last year, the attempted murder of a traffic officer in Greytown and the murder of Greytown resident Joe Fabian (76) who was shot dead at his farm home during a robbery.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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