The suspected hitman was found four and a half hours away, near the Mozambique border.

Nearly a year after a gunman killed five people and injured two others, police have made a breakthrough.

Among the five killed in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, last March were three security guards who were escorting the chairperson of a taxi association.

They were ambushed after the gunman allegedly killed two others in a separate incident not far from the scene. Two more people sustained gunshot wounds in the shootings.

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KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said a suspected hitman, 24-year-old Sphelele Gumede, was traced and arrested at his hiding place in Emanguzi last month.

Emanguzi is near the border of Mozambique and around four and a half hours away from Tongaat.

He appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court where bail was opposed.

He will next appear in on 12 March.

Tongaat shootings

Private security company Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) said its officers were dispatched to the murder scenes and confirmed high-calibre weapons were used in the attacks.

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“A white Ford Ranger bakkie was located at the robots. The vehicle had been shot multiple times with high-calibre weapons. The three occupants were fatally injured.

“While attending to the scene, a white Mercedes Benz arrived. The driver advised RUSA members one of his passengers had been shot. It was confirmed that he was a taxi boss and was most likely the target of the assassins.

“His passenger was a security officer tasked with his protection. The injured male was treated for a gunshot injury to his hand.”


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