Progress for cops as more 'hitmen' arrested for Glebelands killings

The cops have nabbed more people in relation to the deaths at Glebelands hostel in KwaZulu-Natal.
The cops have nabbed more people in relation to the deaths at Glebelands hostel in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Police have arrested a further two suspects in connection with deaths at the controversial Glebelands hostel in Umlazi‚ Durban.

Police spokesman Col Thembeka Mbele said on Thursday that a 27-year-old man had appeared in the Umlazi Magistrate's Court on Wednesday facing two counts of murder and one count of possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The suspect is alleged to have shot and killed two men‚ Nqaba Mbhele and Senzo Luthuli‚ who were found with multiple gunshot wounds inside a vehicle at KwaMnyandu during October 2018. Mbehle and Luthuli were allegedly attacked by four armed men who fired several shots at them.

"A docket with two counts of murder was opened at the Umlazi police station and assigned to the provincial task team for investigation. A week after the murder‚ the suspect was arrested along Mangosuthu Highway with a pistol in his possession.

"He was charged for possession of an unlicensed firearm and the firearm was sent for ballistic testing. The ballistic results positively linked the suspect to the double murder."

He was remanded in custody until March 5.

Mbele said a team of Bulwer detectives and the national intervention unit had also arrested a 31-year-old suspect for the murder of Nkosinathi Ngcobo‚ 45‚ who was shot dead at his homestead in Hlanganani location during October 2017. A case of murder was opened at the Bulwer police station and assigned to the provincial task team for investigation.

The suspect appeared in the Hlanganani Magistrate's Court on February 25‚ where he was remanded into custody until March 4. The investigation to link him with Glebelands Hostel murders was still continuing‚ Mbele said.

The arrests come after police made another arrest in connection with a string of murders at the controversial Glebelands hostel last week.

A 30-year-old man‚ believed to be linked to multiple hostel murders was arrested for the murder of Thabani Mjoli‚ 52‚ who was found dead in his room with multiple gunshot wounds last month.

Last week‚ Sanele Nkunzebomvu Thusi‚ 28‚ was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for the murder of 30-year-old Musawenkosi Msomi Msomi at the Glebelands hostel last year.

The crackdown on violence at Glebelands started in December 2017 when seven men including a policeman were arrested in connection with a raft of crimes ranging from murder to extortion. Detective Sergeant Bhekukwazi Louis Mdweshu‚ 27; Ncomecile Matlala Ntshangase‚ 34; Khayelihle Mbuthuma‚ 32; Eugene Wonderboy Hlope‚ 45; Mbuyiselwa Mahliphiza Mkhize‚ 28; Vukani Mcobothi‚ 25‚ and Mondli Talente Mthethwa‚ 28‚ were arrested in a series of raids in December 2017. The eighth man‚ security guard Bongani Mbele‚ was arrested in May 2018.

They face charges of murder‚ attempted murder‚ extortion‚ racketeering and the possession of firearms and ammunition at the hostel between 2014 and 2016.

The Moerane commission of inquiry‚ established to probe political killings in the province‚ heard testimony that the death of former ANC Youth League general secretary Sindiso Magaqa had been orchestrated from the hostel. Magaqa was shot in a drive-by shooting in Umzimkhulu in July 2017. He died later in hospital.

The hostel‚ administered by the eTthekwini municipality‚ is considered a hotbed of violence and crime. Comprising squalid and poorly maintained blocks‚ it is overcrowded and rundown.

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