Gun battle as police interrupt cleansing of KZN hitmen

By Zukile Majova

Two suspects were arrested on Friday morning following a mass shooting in KwaZulu-Natal.

One of the men escaped while another was shot and killed in a shootout with the police in Mbali Township on Friday morning.

The police were responding to a crime scene where 10 members of the same family were killed allegedly by the suspects.

A tip-off from the community led police to a house of an inyanga from eSwatini who conducts cleansing of hitmen after they commit murders.

Contracted killers often cleanse themselves before and after the execution of a job. 

It is believed that going to war without being cleansed in muthi gives one bad luck, and might lead to the uncleansed inkabi being killed or the entire campaign being compromised putting their entire squad at risk.

Killers-for-hire go for cleansing after the job to wash away the blood of the deceased, the bad luck that comes with taking a life to ensure they do not carry such a bad omen to their own families and invite death into their own homes.

Their belief in the spiritual cleansing and psychological power of cleansing by a revered inyanga, allows the hitmen to take one contract after the other without suffering the psychological harm of taking innocent lives.

It was this cleansing ceremony that the police interrupted and the gunmen opened fire on the police.

The house is just a few blocks away from the scene of the mass killing of two children and eight women, all members of the Memela family.

The patriarch of the family was killed on the same property in November 2022.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said contract killing has become a lucrative industry in KZN with dangerous hitmen from the province being used in killing in other provinces.

“KZN, for some reason, has grown this notorious industry of murderers,” said Cele.

“Last week we were at Fort Hare where there was a shooting of the bodyguard of the vice-chancellor there and out of the three people linked to the university, two come from KZN. The trigger puller comes from KZN. The person who stole the car from Berea in Durban and drove the car to kill that person comes from KZN.”

He said six people who were arrested in a killing in Tembisa come from KZN.

Cele said the police recovered three fires adding that the suspect who was killed by the police was a wanted criminal linked to many incidents of violent crimes in the province.

“The person that is shot and killed is a highly wanted person anyway, he’s not just a person. “Police have been after him for quite some time. That’s the person called Suarez.”

Pictured above: Police Minister Bheki Cele visits a community in KZN following a mass shooting on Friday morning.

Video: Suspect arrested following a mass shooting on Friday morning.

Image source: Lirandzu Themba / @SAPoliceService

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