Bodies pile up as Boko Haram and breakaway group Bafarasai fight for turf in Mamelodi

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André Damons
  • The suspected kingpin of the infamous Boko Haram gang was shot and killed on Tuesday.
  • He has become the latest victim in what police believe is in-fighting between Boko Haram and a breakaway gang. 
  • Since the end of August, around eight murders have been linked to gang rivalry in Mamelodi. 

At least eight murders in Tshwane since the end of August have been linked to suspected in-fighting between the infamous Mamelodi gang Boko Haram and breakaway group Bafarasai. 

On Tuesday, Phillip Given Mnguni - widely believed to be the leader of the group named after the jihadist extremist organisation in West Africa - was gunned down on the N4 near Rayton. 

The police, who identified Mnguni as the victim, said the shooting happened at around 12:00 near the Diamond Hill toll plaza.

"Upon arrival on the scene, the police were told by a witness that a black VW Polo was shot at by the occupants of a silver grey Mercedes-Benz.

"The driver of the Polo lost control of the vehicle, which came to a stop not far from the road. The driver of the Polo was declared dead on the scene while the passenger was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds," police spokesperson Brigadier Brenda Muridili said. 

It is believed the passenger is Mnguni's girlfriend. 

READ | Suspected Boko Haram gang member shot dead in Pretoria

His murder is the latest in what the police believe is a fight for power between Boko Haram and Bafarasai. 

"Evidence at the police's disposal suggests that there is in-fighting and or rivalry between the two groups. Bearing in mind that Bafarasai is a breakaway group from Boko Haram," said Muridili.

According to the police, the following murder cases have been linked to the gangs:

- 29 August: At around 23:36, two men, aged 24 and 43, were shot and killed at a tavern in Mamelodi West.

- 13 September: At around 20:30, a 30-year-old man was shot and killed on the corner of Simon Vermoeten and Watloo streets.

- 17 September: At around 18:20, a 30-year-old man was shot and killed at a shopping complex in Mamelodi. 

- 25 September: At around 23:45, a 33-year-old man was shot and killed at Mamelodi Heights hostel while a second victim was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds. He has since been discharged.

- 2 October: At around 20:55, a 30-year-old man was shot and killed in Section K.

- 10 October: At around 15:40, a 39-year-old man was shot and killed while a woman was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.

- 26 October: At around 12:00, a 35-year-old man was shot and killed while travelling on the N4 near Rayton. A passenger was also wounded and taken to hospital. 

The police said while not all the victims have proven ties to the Mamelodi gangs, the shootings have been linked to gang warfare. 

Court cases 

Following a promise by the police to clamp down on gang-related activities in Mamelodi, they arrested four suspected Boko Haram members. 

Two of the suspects are accused of illegally collecting money from tenants at the Inkandla Hostel in Mamelodi.

They were charged with fraud, theft and money laundering. 

The other two were arrested shortly afterwards and charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

The State alleged the men and the gang they were linked to had been terrorising foreign shop owners in Mamelodi, forcing them, at gunpoint, to pay protection money. 

On Wednesday, the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed to News24 both cases had since been withdrawn due to issues with the complainants.

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