Police ‘cable­tied and shot men dead’

The Witness - - NEWS - NOMPILO KUNENE • nompilo.kunene@wit­ness.co.za

“This was not the first time the police came into our home and caused havoc.”

THE fam­ily of one of the three men killed in a police shootout in Mang­weni, Est­court, on Satur­day night has al­leged that they were shot dead af­ter police cable­tied their hands be­hind their backs.

Ac­cord­ing to the police, mem­bers of the Na­tional In­ter­ven­tion Unit and Tac­ti­cal Re­sponse Team came un­der fire when ap­proach­ing gun­men in a house.

Police spokesper­son Cap­tain Nqo­bile Gwala said the police re­tal­i­ated and three sus­pects were fa­tally wounded. Another three were ar­rested at the scene.

A police of­fi­cer had to be hos­pi­talised af­ter be­ing shot in both legs.

Gwala said four un­li­censed firearms, am­mu­ni­tion and bul­let­proof vests were re­cov­ered from the sus­pects.

The three men who died were iden­ti­fied as Sthabiso Ndlovu (23), Yearskhaya Khany­ile (38) and Mvun­yelwa Duma (37).

Ndlovu’s grand­mother Josephine Kub­heka said he and the two other men were ex­e­cuted by the police.

“This was not the first time the police came into our home and caused havoc. A week back they came here and as­saulted me. They pushed and shoved me de­mand­ing that I tell them where the ‘taxi boys’ were hid­ing. I am still re­cov­er­ing from that beat­ing,” said Kub­heka.

One of the three ar­rested men — a Khubeka fam­ily mem­ber — is ap­par­ently linked to a taxi as­so­ci­a­tion from Jo­han­nes­burg.

Kub­heka said on Satur­day at around 11 pm, police of­fi­cers stormed into the room she was sleep­ing in and asked where the “taxi boys” were.

“They went into the other room where the men were sit­ting and all I heard af­ter that was gun­shots,” she said.

She said she crept into the kitchen and peeked through the win­dow to see what was hap­pen­ing out­side.

Kub­heka said the police came out of the room with three of the men, in­clud­ing her grand­son, and made them lie down on the ground in front of the house she was sleep­ing in.

“I saw ev­ery­thing, I even saw them killing my grand­son and the other men. They had ca­bletied their hands be­hind their backs.

“I heard my grand­son cry­ing out to me but there was noth­ing I could have done, there were gun­shots be­ing fired out­side and I could not go out to help him. They shot him and then they cut the cable ties. They said ‘it’s done’. It was like they had ac­com­plished what they had come to do, to kill our chil­dren,” said Khubeka.

Cap­tain Gwala said they have a re­port of what tran­spired from the police of­fi­cers who were on duty and this was sub­se­quently re­leased to the me­dia.

“We would re­quest any other per­son who has any in­for­ma­tion that may as­sist in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to please come for­ward and pro­vide in­ves­ti­ga­tors with sworn state­ments.

“IPID is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter and police will co­op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. We ap­peal to all in­ter­ested par­ties to wait for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be fi­nalised be­fore jump­ing to con­clu­sions,” said Gwala.

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