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Three arrested for Mariannhill tuck shop shooting, says eThekwini mayor

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda visiting family of Thulani Mpithimpithi, one of the seven victims shot dead on Saturday in Savannah Park.
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda visiting family of Thulani Mpithimpithi, one of the seven victims shot dead on Saturday in Savannah Park.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the deaths of seven people in Durban on Saturday.

This was revealed by eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, who visited affected families on Tuesday.

Patrons were ambushed by at least three armed gunmen at Siqhopholozi tuck shop in Savannah Park, Durban at about 7.30pm.

Tuck shop owner Bhekumuzi Mzobe, 65, his nephews Siboniso Mzobe, 32, and Sanele Khenisa, as well as Phumlani Mpithimpithi, 62, Sphamandla Shezi and Siyakudumisa Mtsengu died at the scene.

Police said a seventh person died in hospital on Sunday. The identify of this person has not been confirmed.

Kaunda condemned the “barbaric acts” and called for better co-operation between the police and communities.

“These are barbaric acts. These mass killings shows there are people who have totally lost their souls so it is important for the communities to rise to the occasion, mobilise ourselves, patrol our areas and make sure we work together with the police to defeat this enemy,” he said.

He also called for the strengthening of community crime-fighting structures and making sure they are equipped to combat the mass killing scourge, including adding more metropolitan police officials.

Kaunda commended the quick work of the police and the co-operation of the community as key in ensuring the swift arrests.

“Fighting crime is a societal responsibility. It’s not the responsibility of the police alone. We are happy there are three people who have been apprehended by the police overnight and we’re hoping for more arrests,” he said.

Kaunda called for the establishment of street committees in every street as he emphasised the need for the involvement of the entire community to play a role in ensuring their safety.

“We will work hard to close the ranks to ensure we establish street committees which will work hard to make sure we prevent some of these incidents. Once you take control of your streets, you know the cars that belong in a street. That makes it easier to report to the police whenever there are vehicles that look suspicious.”

Nkule Khenisa and Thozo Shabalala at home mourning the passing of Sanele Khenisa, who was among seven victims shot and killed at a tuck shop in Savannah Park.
Nkule Khenisa and Thozo Shabalala at home mourning the passing of Sanele Khenisa, who was among seven victims shot and killed at a tuck shop in Savannah Park.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

ANC MP Nigel Gumede said it was unfortunate people had been encouraged to have fun as close to home as possible but that is where they were being attacked.

He reiterated the call for greater community involvement in the fight against crime.

“People are no longer encouraged to participate in community activities without a cash incentive. Everyone wants work opportunities. If you tell them about community activities, they will ask what’s in it for them,” said Gumede.

“Yes, we can bend God’s will, but are we asking ourselves: what are we learning from these killings? How do we prevent situations like these?”

Ntombifikile Shabalala said her brother Sanele Khenisa was killed in the incident, while her other brother Siyabonga is fighting for his life in hospital.

She said they didn’t know what to do as none of them are working in the family.

Kaunda urged the community to attend court proceedings and call for the suspects to be denied bail so witnesses can feel safe.

Police didn't immediately respond to queries about the arrests.

TimesLIVE


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