popular loan shark killed

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A 38-year-old Pietermaritzburg man operating a loan shark business from a tavern in the CBD has been shot and killed.

Mnyamezeli Jeffrey Zulu was a well-known mashonisa among patrons at Kwamphiniwepiki tavern in Pietermaritz Street.

Everyone who needed financial help knew where to find him, at his usual spot on the verandah of the tavern.

On Saturday Zulu received a group of visitors who did not want money, but were after his life.

Witnesses said they saw four men sitting next to Zulu before bullets went flying.

Zulu, who had been shot twice, tried to flee into the tavern, but he collapsed and died.

Zulu's distraught sister, Sindi, said her brother had been running his money lending business for three years at the tavern.

She said a week ago four men visited her brother at home and allegedly threatened to kill him, saying "his days were numbered".

"He had never spoken of any of his clients giving him problems paying back his money.

"When he told us about the threats he was confused as to why anyone would want to kill him," his sister said.

"But, he was very worried that his life was in danger."

She said Zulu was the family's only breadwinner who put seven of his sisters' children through school.

"Besides his money lending business he also sold cigarettes from the tavern's verandah," she said.

She added that this was not the first time that her brother had been attacked.

In March gunmen had tried to kill him, but he survived because his attackers missed their target after firing seven bullets at him.

Police spokesman Joey Jeevan said four 9mm expended cartridges were found at the scene.