Woman gunned down in driveway: fifth execution-style killing in Pietermaritzburg

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Police were busy combing the crime scene on Tuesday where Ntombiso Mthanti was shot and killed execution style.
Police were busy combing the crime scene on Tuesday where Ntombiso Mthanti was shot and killed execution style.

A 43-year-old woman was shot twice in the head at her Bisley home early on Tuesday morning in what sources say was likely not a robbery gone wrong, but a cold-blooded assassination.

Ntombiso Mthanti, who was the supervisor in supply chain management at eThekwini Municipality, was killed between 5.30 am to 5.45 am just before she could leave for work.

Sources said her murder could have something to do with her work, which involved dealing in tenders, or it could have something to do with her husband’s job. He investigates corruption at various municipalities.

One source said it was believed that a bag with Mthanti’s laptop was taken from her car.

According to an informed source, police have information that three men were dropped off by car in the area early on Tuesday morning.

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The men were then seen passing Mthanti’s house more than once and when the domestic worker arrived for work, opened the gate and entered the house, two of them are alleged to have sneaked in behind her.

A source speculated that the men might have jammed the electric gate. She apparently did not notice them.

The third man stayed outside.

The source added that when Mthanti went towards her car, the two men accosted her and forced her to the ground. She was shot twice in the side of her head while on the ground.

The source added, “She stood absolutely no chance against her attackers.”

“[It was] straight forward, nothing more to it."
A source

The men then jumped into Mthanti’s Toyota Corolla and drove off.

The vehicle was found abandoned in the Slangpruit area a short while afterwards. It seemed that the attackers tried to remove the tracker but failed.

Another source also said it was a hit, “straight forward, nothing more to it”.

He said the battery was taken out of Mthanti’s car and that hijackers don’t just leave a car like that, especially one that is in such good condition.

This source added that Mthanti thought that she was being followed from Durban to Pietermaritzburg on Friday. However, she was not followed to her house.

He added that police say she was shot at close range because the bullets were found smashed under her head.

The source said that Mthanti’s husband heard three shots and when he rushed outside he saw the car being driven out of his yard. He ran after it and fired a shot. He did not see his wife lying dead on the driveway.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese merely confirmed that Mthanti was killed.

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He would not comment on allegations that it might have been a hit. Ngobese said that a case of murder and hijacking is being investigated by police.

The crime scene was buzzing with police officers on Tuesday morning.

Yellow police tape ran across the road to cordon off the house. There were a few neighbours outside their own homes dressed in pajamas and gowns talking about the murder.

They appeared shocked and concerned that a murder had happened in their peaceful street. Asked what they had heard, they said a woman was killed. No one heard the gunshots.

Mthanti’s traumatised husband did not wish to speak to The Witness on Tuesday.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said that the municipality does not comment when anyone who works at the municipality dies or is killed. Nevertheless, he sent his condolences to the bereaved family members.

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This is the fifth execution style killing The Witness has reported on in recent months in Pietermaritzburg and surrounds. In October, an Imbali woman returning from evening prayers was shot dead, execution style, as she pulled up at her gate. Buhle Constance Mlotshwa (57) was waiting for her electric gate to open at her home in Imbali Unit 3 when she was shot.

Mlotshwa’s murder followed soon after Nosipho Mbuyisa Nyandu of Sobantu was shot and killed at her home a week before. She was shot dead at her home by assailants, who also shot and injured her two children.

And on September 28, Videsh “Debs” Debideen (54) of Howick West was also killed in a hit-style shooting as he pulled up to the gate of his home.

He was returning from work and he was waiting for the gate to open when two men approached his car and opened fire on him.

On September 23, The Witness reported Linda Lushozi from Imbali Unit 3 died in a hail of bullets while en route to visit a friend in Westgate. He was found dead in the driver’s seat of his car with five gunshots to his body.

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