cops get six chonco hits

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The police in KwaZulu-Natal have shot and killed two more suspects linked to the death of the province's top cop, Zethembe Chonco.

This brings to six the number of suspects in the case shot dead by the police.

The latest two suspects, whose names have not been released, were shot and killed in Emandeni on Friday.

The police said they had found the suspects in a house in Hippo Road after receiving a tip-off.

Police spokesman Muzi Mngomezulu said when police knocked on the door of the house they were met by a hail of bullets as the suspects allegedly opened fire from inside.

He said police shot back and hit one of the suspects before they entered the house.

"Inside another suspect emerged from a closet and shot at the police," Mngomezulu said. "He was shot once and also died on the scene."

Less than a month after Chonco's brutal killing four suspects have been killed in three separate incidents.

In all the incidents there was an exchange of gunfire between the suspects and the police.

Two suspects got as good as they gave a week ago when they were shot and killed in Pietermaritzburg.

The suspects were identified as Thokozani Tembe, 32 and Magojela Ndimande, 37.

Another suspect Lindani "Lee" Buthelezi was shot and killed a few days after Chonco's death at his home in KwaDukuza. The fourth suspect was killed on the scene on the day of Chonco's murder.

Chonco was responsible for the arrest of key taxi hitmen and was assassinated while escorting prisoners from Kranskop to the KwaDukuza magistrate's court.

His vehicle was following his colleagues' public order policing vehicle transporting prisoners when the car he was in came under attack in KwaMaphumulo.

Transport, community safety and liaison MEC Bheki Cele has applauded the police for "apprehending" Chonco's killers.

"Criminals have declared war against the police and the police are responding accordingly," Cele said.

"Whenever criminals reach for their pockets they will never take out a camera and take pictures but instead they take out guns and shoot," he said.

"The police will leave no stone unturned in apprehending the culprits and will do so while protecting themselves by putting criminals behind bars or in the nearest cemetery." .

Mngomezulu could not confirm whether there were more suspects in the case.