DURBAN l On 24 August 2019 at 18:30, three known men entered the business premises situated at Emgodini in the Plessislaer policing area.
At gunpoint, they robbed the cashier of an amount of cash before shooting at her. The suspects who fled the scene also shot two other patrons. The deceased were identified as Golden Shange, Thabani Gumede and Nobuhle Zondi.
The suspects continued on a shooting spree and they went to another house next to the business premises where they shot and killed Mzwakhe Mdlalose. The victim was declared dead at the scene. Whilst the suspects were fleeing the scene, they shot at a taxi that was passing. The driver managed to escape unscathed. The taxi was damaged behind the driver’s window.
They also went to another house at Esigodini where they shot a couple that was in the house. Ayanda Zola Mzekandaba was declared dead at the scene due to the nature of injuries sustained. Her companion was injured and transported to hospital for medical attention. Charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery were opened for investigation at Plessislaer SAPS.
The dockets were transferred to the Provincial Organised Crime Unit who took over the investigation. The team of detectives worked tirelessly to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. On the following day, the team managed to arrest Shembiso akaJesus Zondi/Mbambo at Nqabeni area. During his arrest, he was found in possession of a pistol with three rounds of ammunition.
The recovered firearm was subjected to ballistic testing and it was positively linked to the crimes. A further two accused, Sipho Wiseman Shange/Mchunu and Sphesihle Gasa/Ntombela were also placed under arrest and they were linked to the crimes. They were tried in court and were held behind bars for the duration of the trial. The matter was moved to the Pietermaritzburg High Court for trial from 19 July until 13 August 2021.