EASTERN CAPE CRIME
Bheki Cele promises to ‘combine resources’ after eight shot dead at Kwazakhele birthday party
Eight people are dead and two are in hospital after two gunmen opened fire on guests at a birthday party in Kwazakhele in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday evening. Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the scene of the attack on Monday and promised to combine national and provincial resources to track down the perpetrators.
“I mustn’t speak too much,” Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Monday while visiting the scene of an attack on a birthday party in Kwazakhele, Nelson Mandela Bay, that left eight people dead.
He was joined by National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola. Cele said: “People are angry. They want answers … We know everybody is angry.”
He said they hadn’t told the family what direction their investigation was taking, but promised they would find the attackers.
“While it is good to pass on condolences, our core function is to try to find out who did it. We are not going to betray their [the community’s] trust.”
Eight people died and two were injured in a hail of bullets when gunmen entered a yard in Maqanda Street, Kwazakhele, on Sunday evening and opened fire on guests attending a birthday party.
The deceased are the homeowner, Vusumzi Sishuba (51); Andile Shishuba (52); Kholekile France (54); Mbuyiseli Mboya (64); Nomatamsanqa Mandla (58); Liyema Poro (20); and Nandipha Koliti (42).
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Colonel Priscilla Naidu said police still needed to confirm the identity of the eighth deceased. Apart from the two injured people in hospital, a third victim was discharged after treatment on Monday.
Naidu said preliminary investigations placed the time of the attack at between 5.15pm and 5.30pm.
“The owner of the house was celebrating his birthday when two unknown gunmen entered the yard in Maqanda Street in Kwazakhele and started shooting at the guests … No arrests have been made at this time,” she said.
“These victims were killed by criminals, and we will not rest until we find out what happened and who was responsible for these callous and cold-blooded attacks on these unsuspecting victims,” she said.
Eastern Cape Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane expressed “shock and sadness … We condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless killing of people in our province.
“We are appealing to the minister to bring in a strong team of detectives to comb the scene and ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and brought to book.
“These violent crimes disturb peace and bring fear in our communities. These incidents are worrying and unacceptable. Law enforcement agencies must do everything possible to root out the killing of innocent people like animals in our province.”
Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Retief Odendaal said all municipal security resources would be available to assist the police in their investigation.
He said the police must do everything possible to end the spate of violent shootings sweeping across the metro.
“Law and order must return to all parts of Nelson Mandela Bay. Our communities cannot continue to live in fear of criminals,” he added. DM/MC