ATM kingpin shot dead

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Detectives of the Durban organised crime unit yesterday shot dead a man they believed was the kingpin behind the ATM bombings in the province.

This brings to three the number of ATM bombing suspects killed in one month during shootouts with the police.

In the latest incident detectives acting on a tip-off went to a home in Newcastle where they allegedly came under fire from Muzi Majola, 26.

Majola was killed in the ensuing exchange of fire with police.

Police spokesman Superintendent Muzi Mngomezulu said the police received information that the suspect was a key figure in ATM bombings in Hluhluwe, Hammarsdale, and other areas.

"When he was approached at his hideout he fired at the police, but was shot and killed. He is also suspected of having had links to cash-in-transit heists."

Mngomezulu said an AK-47 and R-1 rifle, more than a hundred rounds of ammunition and explosives were recovered at the scene.

"While other ATM bombing suspects are still at large, our detectives are confident that the main suspects have been netted," Mngomezulu said. "We also believe that the explosives at the scene were used in more than 10 other ATM bombings."

He said the police in the province depended on the community's help to track down ATM criminals.

"We appeal to communities to continue giving us information that will lead to the arrest of all those responsible for the ATM attacks," he said.

Early this month members of the crime unit shot and killed two ATM bombing suspects and arrested two others.

Among those killed was Fukani Zwane, 35, of KwaMashu, who was wanted for six ATM bombings in the province

Nhlanhla Mhlongo, 28, who among those arrested , was wanted by police in connection with four ATM bombings.

Police are still investigating the links between the suspects and the various robberies.