KWAZULU-NATAL – The Hawks and Task Force Members made a breakthrough on Sunday when they apprehended suspects for various cases including murder and possession of unlicensed firearms in the Ezakheni area.
Members of the launch were roped in to lead the investigation following a spate of political and taxi violence related killings in the province. On Sunday, an intelligence driven operation was conducted in Ezakheni near Ladysmith.
During the operation, five firearms and more than 120 assorted live rounds of ammunition were recovered. The firearms include one R1 rifle, one R5 rifle, one shotgun and two 9mm pistols. The recovered firearms will be sent for ballistic testing to ascertain if they were used in the commission of any crime in the country.
Four of the arrested suspects aged between 24 and 50 are believed to be involved in two separate murders. In one of the incident, on 18 July 2016, Khanyisile Ngobese who was an ANC ward councillors was fatally shot in Ladysmith. On 23 January 2016, a taxi owner, Muhlawumbeni Zungu and other four passengers were shot at by unknown suspects. Zungu died on the way to hospital and other victims were taken to hospital for medical attention.
The arrested suspects were charged for possession of unlicensed firearms and will be further charged for murders. They are expected to appear in the Ladysmith Magistrates’ Court facing the charges of possession of unlicensed firearms. More arrests are imminent.
The National Head of Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza applauded the members for good work of arresting the suspects and recovery of the illegal firearms. “We also like to thank the community members who are providing valuable information to us. Hawks members vow to deal with all the hired hitmen around the country and there is no room for killers in our society,” he said.