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Forensic officials attending to the scene were 10 people were killed in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: SAPS
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IFP calls for authorities to address gun violence in KZN

By Khulile Thwala

The Inkhata Freedom Party (IFP) has called for the elimination of deadly weapons by relevant authorities in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

This comes after 10 people were gunned down in the early hours of Friday in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa.

Police combing the crime scene. Picture: SAPS
Police combing the crime scene. Picture: SAPS

The IFP, through Provincial Spokesperson Blessed Gwala, said it was perplexing how these killings followed the murder of a taxi boss in the Ottawa area in KZN on Thursday, just weeks after taxi associations signed a peace agreement.

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Worth noting is that four other people were shot dead in KwaMashu, north of Durban this week. According to the IFP, due to the high unemployment rate, the notion of paid assassins cannot be ruled
out, as desperate people will resort to desperate measures to earn money to feed their families.

“Further, we are concerned about the mass killings that are happening in areas such as KwaMashu, uMlazi, Nkandla and Eshowe, to mention a few.

The crime scene were people killed. Picture: SAPS
The crime scene were people killed. Picture: SAPS

This issue requires urgent attention from the relevant authorities. We need to have a clear understanding of the trend of the killings, the locations, the hot spots and look at causes,” stated Gwala.

The increasing availability of weapons has helped drive rising insecurity and crime in KZN, where guns are commonly used to commit a range of crimes.

Read More: South Africa added to grey list

The IFP believes that the police must work towards eradicating crime to ensure that our Province is freed from ruthless criminals.

It is further stated that the ongoing murders in KZN are indicative of the movement of illegal guns and a vast majority of firearms.

“It is the duty of the authorities to launch a thorough investigation on arms syndicates: whether guns used by criminals to kill are either smuggled into the province or if they collude with gun sellers to buy
illegal guns.”

Community helps identify suspects after killing of KZN 10

Information from community members coupled with police investigations and swift response has resulted in the arrest of two suspects believed to be involved in the mass murder of 10.

This follows the killing of 10 family members in Pietermaritzburg KwaZulu-Natal during the early hours of Friday morning, April 21. The shocking family murder prompted Police Minister Bheki Cele and the top management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) led by the National Commissioner Fannie Masemola to descend on the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Community members watching on as police minister Bheki Cele speaks. Picture: SAPS.
Community members watching on as police minister Bheki Cele speaks. Picture: SAPS.

In a statement, the Police Ministry Spokesperson Lirandzu Themba detailed how during the KZN family ambush 10 members of the same family were fatally wounded, the youngest of the victims was a 13-year-old boy.

Hours after the attack at the family home, a police manhunt ensued for the suspects responsible for the deadly shooting.

“Police officers acted with agility on their intelligence, coupled with information from the community on the possible whereabouts of some of those responsible for the heinous crime. Less than two kilometres away, a shootout ensued when police confronted four men participating in a ‘cleansing ceremony’ conducted by a traditional healer,” stated Themba.

Police arrested two of the four suspects, one is under police guard in hospital after sustaining injuries during the shootout with police. One suspect escaped while another was fatally shot; a criminal linked to
numerous other crimes in the area has been sought after by police. Three firearms were also found at the scene.

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