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Suspected hitman to appear in court for the murder of KZN taxi owner

The car belonging to the murdered taxi owner, which struck one of the suspects during the incident. Picture: Supplied

The car belonging to the murdered taxi owner, which struck one of the suspects during the incident. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 27, 2021

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DURBAN - A suspected hitman is due to appear in Ezakheni Magistrate’s Court, in KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday in the murder case of an Ezakheni taxi owner.

The 38-year-old man was arrested on Sunday for the murder of taxi owner Khumbulani Mazibuko.

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Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said 35-year-old Mazibuko was shot while getting out of his car in Ezakheni, near Ladysmith, on September 7, 2019.

“The other occupants of the vehicle were not injured. Mazibuko was transported to hospital where he later died. One of the suspects was struck by the deceased’s vehicle. His rifle fell on the bonnet of the vehicle,” she said.

Gwala added that a rifle with two magazines carrying 52 rounds of ammunition was recovered at the scene by police.

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The arrest followed an operation by the Provincial Organised Crime Unit assisted by Crime Intelligence and the Ulundi Public Order Police.

“The team was following up on information about a wanted murder suspect. The suspect was arrested at the East Mine area, in Vryheid,” Gwala said.

She said the Provincial Taxi Task Team was investigating the case.

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A research report by a senior analyst at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) has revealed that “KwaZulu-Natal is the home of the hitman armed with an illegal firearm”.

Jenni Irish-Qhobosheane’s report, “How to silence the guns? Southern Africa’s illegal firearms market”, also touched on the July unrest in which the issue of access to firearms and ammunition was brought into focus.

In 2018, GI-TOC identified KZN as accounting for 40% of all cases of assassinations in South Africa, including political killings, taxi hits as well as assassinations linked to organised crime activity.

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