Gunned down

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - FRONT PAGE - Or­rin Singh and Welling­ton Mak­wakwa

COV­ERED in a blan­ket amid mud and pud­dles, gun­shot vic­tim Wise­man Hadebe’s bul­let rid­dled body lay in plain view of com­mu­nity mem­bers in the Umh­langa area in Ng­welezana yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Hadebe, a crane driver for Transnet Freight Rail (TRF), had been wait­ing for the com­pany ser­vice driver to pick him up for work when two un­known gun­men ap­peared and opened fire on the 37-year-old, brazenly mur­der­ing him in cold-blood.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred at 9:25am in front of Emzini Wezin­sizwa Tav­ern, close to Siz­a­bantu Bus Stop, when the Transnet Toy­ota Quan­tum ar­rived to pick up Hadebe as it would do ev­ery morn­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice the mur­der was car­ried out by two men who had been trav­el­ling in a white Ford Ranger with an ND reg­is­tra­tion.

This in­for­ma­tion was cor­rob­o­rated by a num­ber of wit­nesses at the scene of the crime, one be­ing a trau­ma­tised fe­male street ven­dor who sell mealies in the area.

She said two young gun­men opened fire on the vic­tim.

‘One said ‘here is this dog’, and shot him in front of me.

‘The vic­tim was about to reach for the taxi door han­dle when he was shot in the back.

‘He turned to­wards the two men and that’s when they sprayed him with bul­lets.

‘Once they had killed him, they re­alised I had seen ev­ery­thing and one turned to­wards me.

‘He swore and threat­ened that I would be next, and that’s when I ran for cover into a nearby shack.

‘I have never seen some­one be­ing shot in front of me and don’t think I will be able to con­duct my busi­ness in that place ever again.

‘Ev­ery day I pass the scene I will be re­minded of how they killed a young man like a dog and how I al­most fol­lowed him.’

Ac­cord­ing to the ven­dor, Hadebe was new in the area and would buy mealies from her al­most ev­ery day.

‘He was a nice young man, very down-to-earth, and that’s why it’s con­fus­ing that some­one would want him dead,’ she said.

Other lo­cals who were in­side the tav­ern dur­ing the shoot­ing said they thought the tav­ern was un­der at­tack and took cover un­der ta­bles in the she­been.

‘The sound of gun­shots echoed across the area and I thought we would all die.

‘There was chaos in the tav­ern as we went un­der the ta­ble, only to find out the shoot­ing was out­side,’ said a pa­tron.

TRF spokesper­son, Mike Ase­fovitz, said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was sad­dened to hear of the death of Hadebe, who had been a loyal em­ployee for 12 years.

‘We mourn the pass­ing of one of our ded­i­cated em­ploy­ees and ex­press our sin­cere con­do­lences to his griev­ing fam­ily at this time, said Ase­fovitz.

Em­pan­geni po­lice have launched a man­hunt for the two sus­pects.

Po­lice and SAPS foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors col­lect ev­i­dence at the scene where a num­ber of spent car­tridges could be seen next to Hadebe’s body

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