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The late Nkhangweleni Gift Mutshutshu. Photo supplied.

Who is behind the gang killings?

 

The spate of brutal, gangster-style killings is continuing, with another fatality in the past week. On Saturday (23rd), an alleged member of the Black Mafia Family (BMF) and businessman, Mr Gift Nkhangweleni Mutshutshu, aged 50, was gunned down in a barrage of bullets at the gate of his home in Lunungwi Mutepeni.

The death of Mutshutshu follows a day after the funeral of the 34-year-old Mr Lufuno “Baba” Mukhese. Mukhese, a prominent BMF leader, was shot execution-style while in the company of three others near his pub in Muledane on Wednesday, 13 March. His burial took place on Friday, 22 March.

Col Malesela Ledwaba, the Limpopo police spokesperson, confirmed the killing of Mutshutshu. He said that a murder docket had been opened and investigations were underway. He urged anyone with information to come forward and assist the police.

Mutshutshu was ambushed and gunned down at about 22:30 at the gate of his home on Saturday. Reports indicate that he had gone to pick up individuals for catering, but minutes later, gunshots were heard, and he was found dead in his car.

The murders of Mutshutshu and Mukhese add to a string of similar murders in the region, with 13 victims so far, yet no arrests have been made in any of the cases. This has led to growing scepticism within the community regarding police efficiency, with some even suggesting complicity among law-enforcement officials. Whispers are doing the rounds of a police-officer hit squad allegedly responsible for the murders, targeting alleged gangsters whom they fail to apprehend at crime scenes.

The availability of weapons used in these crimes raises questions about the source of firearms and ammunition, with fingers pointing towards corrupt elements within the police force and porous borders facilitating the illegal arms trade. Police Commissioner Beki Cele's acknowledgement of corrupt officers involved in supplying firearms to hitmen adds weight to these concerns.

The rumours of police involvement have been vehemently denied by the police. “All the cases are being investigated, and suspects will be arrested, no matter how long it takes. To show our commitment to cracking the cases, they have been handed to the Provincial Organised Crime Unit, which is working around the clock to arrest the suspects,” said Vhembe police spokesperson W/O Vuledzani Dathi last week.

Col Ledwaba urged anyone who might have information to please contact the investigating officer Det Sgt Vutomi Zelda Makhubele on 072 024 4023, crime stop number 08600 10111 or the nearest police station or use the MySAPS App.

 

 

Date:29 March 2024

By: Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.

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