Four male suspects believed to be linked to the fatal shooting of two man aged between 35 and 48 have been arrested in less than eight hours of the incident, on Monday morning 27 March 2023, at about 08:30, in Tabankulu.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the two were coming out of Tabankulu Plaza when unknown suspects appeared and fired gunshots which left them dead inside their vehicle. It is further alleged that the suspects aged between 33 and 36, thereafter escaped to a nearby B&B where they hid themselves from the police.
On realizing that they were under siege, two of the four suspects skipped through the window to a neighbourhood house where they chased away children and occupied the flat in which the children were staying.
The police called reinforcement and surrounded the place where the suspects had allegedly taken refuge. Subsequently, all four suspects were arrested and during the search, three fire-arms – AK 47, two pistols and ammunition, the vehicle which was used by the suspects as a getaway car and cell phones were confiscated by the police.
During the shooting, a 30-year-old by-stander was shot in the lower body and she was immediately transported to a nearby hospital for medical care.
Double Murder cases, an attempted murder and possession of unlicensed fire-arms with ammunition have been registered for investigation.
All confiscated fire-arms will be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for ballistic testing, to establish if they have not been used in other murder incidents in the Eastern Cape or elsewhere around the country. The motive for the shooting is currently unknown, but will form part of the investigation.
The two deceased are believed to be taxi owners in the local taxi association.
The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has welcomed the arrest of the suspects and further hailed the integration of specialised units within the South African Police Service for the great work. “In as much as we appreciate the arrest of these heartless criminals, I am however very interested in getting to know who assigned them to carry out this callous work. Such a detail is critical for me and will help us close the net on the sources of these vicious killings.” Lieutenant General Mene said.
All the arrested suspects are expected in Tabankulu Magistrate court on Wednesday 29 March 2023 once they are charged.
Anyone with information on the incident which may assist the police in expediting their investigation, may please make contact with the investigator, Detective Captain Buduza at 071 475 1846.
People may remain anonymous and all the information supplied including their identities will be kept confidential.