Police arrest 8, recover illegal firearm at funeral 'ritual' for alleged killer

Police arrested eight suspects in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, following complaints about spinning and shooting, which are rituals associated with a send-off for criminals.
Police arrested eight suspects in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, following complaints about spinning and shooting, which are rituals associated with a send-off for criminals.
Image: 123RF/Jirapatch Iamkate

Eight people were arrested at a cemetery in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday following complaints about spinning and the firing of guns at what is understood to have been a funeral ritual for an alleged criminal. 

On Monday, the police said Richmond members together with public order police arrested eight suspects, aged between 22 and 35, for illegal possession of a firearm at a cemetery.

"On October 3, there was a funeral for an alleged criminal, Nkanyiso Mkhize, who was found dead with his friend, Mlamuli Phungula. Police were alerted about the spinning of vehicles and random shootings at the cemetery and proceeded to the area," said the police.

"On arrival, police found people leaving. Police searched all the vehicles leaving the cemetery. A pistol with its serial number filed off was recovered from a vehicle with eight occupants."

Police said the bodies of Mkhize and Phungula were found dumped in bushes within the Alexandra Road policing precinct.

"It is alleged they were both kidnapped from the Richmond CBD on September 26. Mkhize had been charged for a murder that occurred on August 4 when Ntuthuko Ndlovu was shot and killed in Richmond."

KwaZulu-Natal acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Thulani Gonya applauded the police officers for the arrests.

“The firearm will be sent for ballistic testing to determine if it was used in the commission of crime,” he said.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Richmond magistrate's court on Monday.

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