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Luke Fleurs

Six arrested for hijack killing of South African footballer

Six arrested for hijack killing of South African footballer
Luke Fleurs during the DStv Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Golden Arrows at FNB Stadium on March 05, 2024 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

JOHANNESBURG, April 10 (Reuters) - Six suspects were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the killing of South African footballer Luke Fleurs who was shot when his car was hijacked in Johannesburg last week, local media reported.

The 24-year-old former junior international, who played for the country’s most popular club Kaizer Chiefs, was shot in the chest at a petrol station last Wednesday and the assailants drove off in his vehicle.

Police said six suspects were arrested in Soweto in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Fleurs’ vehicle was recovered on Monday.

“Police believe that the suspects are part of a syndicate that is responsible for car hijacking in Gauteng, and the search for more suspects is continuing,” Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Tommy Mthombeni told IOL.co.za.

The suspects are expected to appear in court on Friday, charged with murder and hijacking.

Fleurs had been waiting to be served by a petrol attendant when he was confronted by two armed men who shot him in the chest. He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Centre back Fleurs played every minute for South Africa at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, and that same year was named in the squad for World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia, though he did not play a match.

South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Arts & Culture, Zizi Kodwa, said he was “saddened that yet another life has been cut short due to violent crime”.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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