Police ‘cabletied and shot men dead’
“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.