Police arrest suspect for KwaZakhele mass murder

An arrest has been made of a suspect who is allegedly connected to the eight murder cases that shook the nation on January 29, 2023, in KwaZakhele in Gqeberha, according to the South African Police Service in the Eastern Cape.

The incident occurred on Maqanda Street in KwaZakhele, where the owner was celebrating his birthday when two unknown gunmen entered the yard and began firing at the guests. Seven of the 11 persons who were injured by these gunmen died, while the other four were taken to a hospital for treatment. One of the four people who were taken to the hospital died as a result of their injuries, bringing the total number of fatalities to eight. The owner of the house was among the deceased.

According to the police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, a task team was formed under the direction of the provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene, to ensure a quick arrest of the culprits. Police then began a manhunt for the culprits while an investigation into the circumstances leading up to this incident was being conducted. A total of eight murder cases and three attempted murder cases have been reported for investigation.

“On Friday morning, March 3 from 3am members of the Provincial Task Team consisting of Provincial Serious Violent Crime unit, Provincial Tracking Team, Provincial Crime Intelligence with assistance of Crime Combating Unit members, followed up on information about suspects believed to be linked to the shooting of the eight people in Maqanda Street, Kwazakele, as well as the wounding of three other victims at the same crime scene.

“The information led the investigating team to some flats in Walmer where six suspects allegedly involved in the mass shooting were hiding. As they arrived in the house, only one suspect aged 33 was found. Upon investigation, his involvement was confirmed. His co-conspirators managed to flee before the police arrived. Meanwhile, the suspect was immediately arrested and later detained at Mount Road police station for a further investigation,” said Kinana.

He declared that police are actively pursuing the last few fugitives who escaped from Walmer Flats.

The multidisciplinary team of detectives made every effort to ensure a breakthrough in the cases, and the Provincial Commissioner has expressed gratitude and appreciation to them. “I am grateful for the arrest that my task team has made. It has strengthened our resolve that we would eventually find the killers, so that we are able to establish the motive. Let the outstanding fugitives be found and found sooner so that the families can find closure from this horrific ordeal.” Lieutenant General Mene said.

Anybody with information about the remaining five suspects who escaped is asked to call the Provincial Organised Crime Investigator, Detective Captain Sitole, at 082 457 2812 or Crime Stop at 086 00 10111.