NELSPRUIT – Police in Mpumalanga have launched a manhunt for suspects after four men operating in the taxi industry were murdered in four separate incidents. The said incidents took place around Nkangala District where two victims were killed yesterday, Monday 15 March 2021, whilst the other two were killed earlier in the month of March 2021 respectively.
In yesterday’s incidents, the first shooting incident occurred at 17h30, where a 44-year-old man was sitting inside a Mercedes Benz Minibus at Kwamhlanga Crossroad. It is reported that a group of armed suspects driving in a white VW Golf 7 opened fire at the man who sustained multiple gunshot wounds. The suspects fled the scene after the incident, heading towards the direction of Pretoria. Police and the medical personnel were informed about the incident whereupon arrival, the man, who has now been identified by his family as Jeremia Nkosinathi Chabangu, was certified dead. The victim is reported to be a taxi driver and the motive for the killing is unknown at this stage.
Later in the evening at around 20h40, a 65-year-old man became a victim of the second shooting incident which took place at Boekenhouthoek near Kwaggafontein. Information at police disposal reveals that two armed men wearing balaclavas, entered the house of the man who at the time, was watching television with his wife. It is said that the two suspects, who were driving in a white Toyota Quantum, gained entry through the kitchen door that was slightly open. The suspects then fired several shots, fatally wounding the man instantly. The victim is said to have sustained multiple gunshot wounds. His wife also sustained some injuries on her leg. The victim has since been identified by his family as Piet Mahlangu.
Meanwhile, 31-year-old Kenny Sipho Mahlangu who was a taxi driver, was shot and killed at Tweefontein on 07 March 2021. Details around this incident reveal that Mahlangu was driving in a white Isuzu bakkie when he was attacked. On the said day, it is alleged that he was followed by a certain Toyota Run-X and shots were fired from the said vehicle which resulted in him being fatally wounded.
Another shooting incident also at Tweefontein is said to have occurred on 01 March 2021, where a 39-year-old man was gunned down at an old taxi rank. According to information, police received a call about a shooting incident at the said place and upon arrival, they found a body of a man lying in the pool of blood with bullet wounds. The victim was identified by his family as Mr France Oupa Manamela who was a queue marshal at the same taxi rank he was murdered.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was shot by four suspects driving in a silver VW Polo. The four fled the scene immediately after committing this heinous act. Another victim driving a taxi patrol vehicle was also shot and injured on his leg at Moloto near Kwamhlanga, on the same day Manamela was murdered.
The public is urged to call Detective Sergeant Jacob Zulu at 076 658 5463, with information regarding the whereabouts of suspects involved in the murder cases at Tweefontein. For the murder investigation at Kwamhlanga and attempted murder at Moloto, the public can contact Detective Sergeant David Kekana at 082 948 8754. Information on the murder case at Kwaggafontein, Detective Warrant officer Bheki Motambo can be contacted at 072 462 6923. Alternatively, members of the community can call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or send information via My SAPS App. Callers may remain anonymous and all information received will be treated with strictest confidentiality.
Source: South African Police Service