More blood spilt at hos­tel

Two shot dead un­der cover of dark­ness

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY

AMAN and woman were shot and killed at uMlazi’s no­to­ri­ous Gle­be­lands hos­tel on Wed­nes­day night, just min­utes apart. The killings oc­curred 10 days af­ter the Mo­er­ane Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lit­i­cal killings in KwaZulu-Natal heard wit­ness tes­ti­mony about mur­ders at the vi­o­lence-rid­den hos­tel.

The po­lice said yes­ter­day morn­ing that a 32-year-old man had been shot in the head at about 8.15pm on Wed­nes­day.

About 15 min­utes later, a 52-year-old woman who runs a tuck shop at her home near the hos­tel, was also shot dead.

Po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Them­beka Mb­hele said the male vic­tim had been taken to hos­pi­tal where he suc­cumbed to his in­juries.

“The motive is un­known. A case of mur­der was opened at uMlazi po­lice sta­tion for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Re­spond­ing to ques­tions about the woman’s mur­der, Mb­hele said: “It is al­leged that yes­ter­day just af­ter 8.30pm, the de­ceased was at her house where she also runs a tuck­shop when she was ap­proached by two un­known sus­pects pre­tend­ing to be cus­tomers.

“The sus­pects shot the de­ceased in the head and chest be­fore flee­ing the scene. The motive is un­known.” It was not clear at which block the woman was shot or if the in­ci­dents were re­lated.

Mb­hele said po­lice de­ploy­ments re­mained in place 24-hours at the hos­tel and en­cour­aged res­i­dents to re­port crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

Com­mu­nity ac­tivist Vanessa Burger, who tes­ti­fied be­fore the Mo­er­ane Com­mis­sion last week, said the man killed on Wed­nes­day had been shot at Block P. This was the sec­ond time the vic­tim had been at­tacked, she said.

“On Novem­ber 19, 2015, he was shot – to­gether with his me­chanic while work­ing on his ve­hi­cle – in al­most ex­actly the same man­ner at pre­cisely the same time,” said Burger. She added that a CCTV cam­era and high-mast light­ing were lo­cated near the block.

In her tes­ti­mony last week, Burger said the hos­tel was a haven for hit­men that could be hired to op­er­ate through­out KZN and could be linked to at least 89 deaths in the prov­ince, in­clud­ing those of coun­cil­lors.

A for­mer Gle­be­lands res­i­dent, who tes­ti­fied in-cam­era, cor­rob­o­rated Burger’s tes­ti­mony.

The wit­ness has since gone into hid­ing af­ter al­leg­ing he re­ceived a threat­en­ing phone call.

Solomzi Mdle­dle, sec­re­tary of the com­mis­sion, con­firmed the man had re­ceived a call he deemed threat­en­ing. Burger, the wit­ness and others tes­ti­fy­ing be­fore the com­mis­sion also al­leged that the po­lice were in­volved in hir­ing hit­men from the hos­tel and sold weapons to killers-for-hire.

De­spite the al­le­ga­tions, po­lice watch­dog, the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Di­rec­torate (Ipid) and the SAPS have yet to con­firm if they will ap­pear be­fore the com­mis­sion.

Last Fri­day, com­mis­sion chair­per­son, ad­vo­cate Marumo Mo­er­ane with with com­mis­sion­ers, Pro­fes­sor Cheryl Pot­gi­eter and ad­vo­cate Vasu Gounden in­spected three blocks at the hos­tel that had been men­tioned in tes­ti­mony. P Block did not form part of the visit. The com­mis­sion re­sumes on Au­gust 16 in Mayville, Dur­ban.

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