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Businessman killed after confronting 'illegal' business in Pretoria West

Kasi Eats founder Kabelo Matlala was shot and killed in Pretoria on Saturday night.
Kasi Eats founder Kabelo Matlala was shot and killed in Pretoria on Saturday night.
Image: 123rf.com/krisonealphotography

The chief executive and founder of popular logistics app Kasi Eats, Kabelo Matlala, was gunned downed in Pretoria West on Saturday night — allegedly during an argument over the hijacking of buildings.

Police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo said police were investigating two cases of murder after two men were shot dead on Saturday night.

“A 44-year-old suspect was arrested this morning after he handed himself over to police accompanied by his lawyers and was charged with two counts of murder,” said Masondo.

He said police do not know the motive of Matlala’s killing as they are still investigating.

According to an eyewitness, who did not want to be named, Matlala and a group of Pretoria West residents were conducting raids on properties that they alleged were hijacked by foreign nationals.

“When we got to this ... shop, Matlala and others demanded that the shop owner produce papers to prove that they were the rightful owner. They refused and an argument ensued between them,” said the witness.

He said Matlala insisted that proof of ownership or a lease document be produced before they leave.

“The [man] then called three of his friends ... who tried to intimidate Matlala and the community.

“When he realised that the community was not moved by his threats, he took out a firearm and shot Matlala twice in the stomach, and proceeded and shot another guy ... Matlala fell on his face and was shot twice again in his back at close range,” he said.

The man then ran into his car and fled the scene, said the witness. “We called an ambulance but Matlala was declared dead on the scene,” he added.

Matlala started Kasi Eats as a food delivery and backend-logistics support app for black-owned businesses. His success saw him listed among the Forbes Africa “30 under 30" young entrepreneurs in 2018.

The Tshwane Muslim Shura Council (TMSC) on Monday condemned the killing and called for calm.

“As Muslims of South African descent, we propagate cohesion with all communities,” said council spokesperson Mandla Nkosi.

Nkosi described Matlala as a brilliant young man. “Matlala lost his life as an activist for the poor. It is a sad loss to the community of Tshwane and South Africa at large,” he said.

“We hope and pray that the seed he planted will be an inspiration for entrepreneurship in our communities.”