The Mercury

Killings fuel fears of violence resurfacin­g in Richmond area

- SIBUSISO MBOTO sibusiso.mboto@inl.co.za

THE killing of four men, including three brothers, in Richmond on Tuesday has sparked fears a pattern of violence, last seen in the late 1990s, may rear its head again.

Police spokespers­on Colonel Thembeka Mbele said two brothers and a friend were shot by two assailants at a house in Esigcakini and died on the scene.

The other brother, who was driving a truck, was also killed by the assailants.

Mbele said no one had been arrested. While the motive for the killings is unknown, rumours suggest competitio­n over business interests, including taxi routes, may have been behind the killings.

Mantombi Ngcamu, mother to the slain brothers said the pain was too much to bear for the family. “I am not alright, none of us are, and we can’t speak right now.”

Xolani, Ngcamu, his brothers Siyabonga and Andile and cousin Mlondi Simelane were all killed during the attack on Tuesday.

Richmond mayor Simenenkos­i Ndlovu described the attack as shocking and appealed for calm.

“This is not good for the area in which we have worked so hard to change its image. We don’t want to return to the late ’90s when Richmond became a no-go area because of the killings. Unfortunat­ely, an incident like this, quickly reminds people of our difficult past,” said Ndlovu.

He called on the police to act swiftly and arrest those responsibl­e for the killings.

In the late 1990s, Richmond was plunged into turmoil during the height of political violence between ANC and United Democratic Movement (UDM) supporters, especially in the areas of KwaMagoda and Endaleni.

In January 1999, UDM secretary-general Sifiso Nkabinde – who had been expelled from the ANC in 1997 – was killed in a hail of bullets. Days later, 11 members of the Ndabezitha family were killed in a retaliator­y attack and this prompted then-president Nelson Mandela to deploy the army in the area.

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