Police nab a suspect for Kwazakele mass murders

The South African Police Service in the Eastern Cape has made a breakthrough in arresting a suspect believed to be involved in the mass shooting that claimed 8 lives on 29 January 2023 at Kwazakele in Gqeberha.

On the day of the incident, 11 people fell victims of a cold blooded shooting at Maqanda Street in Kwazakele. The incident left eight people dead with other three seriously injured.

Following the incident, Police Minister, General Bheki Cele and the National Police Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola, led a delegation of various experts within the organisation to the crime scene of the mass shooting.

Preliminary investigation at the time revealed that between 17:15 and 17:30, the owner of the house was celebrating his birthday, when two unknown gunmen entered the yard and started shooting at the guests.

Seven people (three females and four males) were fatally injured while another four people (two females and two males) sustained gunshot wounds and were taken to hospital for treatment.

One of the victims succumbed to the injuries in hospital, bringing the total number of the deceased to eight. The owner of the house was among the deceased.

A task team was since established in order to ensure a speedy arrest of the culprits.

According to the SAPS, on Friday members of the Provincial Task Team followed up on information about suspects believed to be linked to the shooting of the eight people, as well as the wounding of three other victims at the same crime scene.

The task team consists of Provincial Serious Violent Crime unit, Provincial Tracking Team, Provincial Crime Intelligence with assistance of Crime Combating Unit members.

“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,” the SAPS said in a statement.

The police said that they are currently in pursuit of the remaining fugitives who escaped from Walmer Flats.

The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mene, has expressed gratitude and appreciation to the multi-disciplinary team of investigators who spared no efforts to ensure a breakthrough is made in the cases.

“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.

The arrested suspect, whose identity cannot be published at this stage, will appear in New Bright Magistrates’ court on Monday on charges relating to murder. Police said they will oppose the bail.

Anyone who can assist with any information relating to the remaining five suspects who fled, is requested to please contact the Provincial Organised Crime Investigator, Detective Captain Sitole on 082 457 2812 or Crime Stop on 086 00 10111.

Source: South African Government News Agency