The police in Mpumalanga have launched a manhunt for suspects involved in the murders of four people involved in the taxi industry. These taxi industry killings are believed to be unrelated incidents. The first of the two murders happened in the province’s Nkangala District where taxi driver, Jeremia Nkosinathi Chabangu, 44, was gunned down while sitting in a Mercedes Benz minibus in KwaMhlanga. He was ambushed by suspects who arrived at the crime scene in a white VW Golf 7 and opened fire around 5pm.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the suspects fled the scene, heading towards the Pretoria direction.
“Police and the medical personnel were informed about the incident, whereupon arrival, the man, who has now been identified by his family was certified dead. The victim is reported to be a taxi driver and the motive for the killing is unknown at this stage,” said Hlathi.
In the second incident, which happened around 8.40pm, Piet Mahlangu, 65, was gunned down at Boekenhouthoek near Kwaggafontein. Police said two balaclava-clad suspects entered his house while he was watching TV with his wife and opened fire on him.
“The two suspects, who were driving in a white Toyota Quantum, gained entry through the kitchen door which was slightly opened. The suspects then fired several shots, fatally wounding the man instantly. The victim is said to have sustained multiple gunshot wounds. His wife also sustained some injuries on her leg,” said Hlathi.
Mpumalanga police said the manhunt for the murder suspects would include the search for the killers of Kenny Sipho Mahlangu, 31, who was gunned down at Tweefontein last week. The deceased had been driving a white bakkie when he was attacked.
“It is alleged that he was followed by a Toyota Run-X and shots were fired from the said vehicle which resulted in him being fatally wounded,” said Hlathi.
A week earlier, also in the Tweefontein area, France Oupa Manamela, 39, who was a queue marshall at the taxi rank, was gunned down.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was shot by four suspects driving in a silver VW Polo. The four fled the scene immediately after committing this heinous act. Another victim, driving a taxi patrol vehicle, was also shot and injured on his leg at Moloto near Kwamhlanga, on the same day Manamela was murdered,” said the police.
The police have urged members of the public who may have any information which can assist with the murder investigations to contact the investigative officers in the cases concerned.
Tweefontein murders – Detective Sergeant Jacob Zulu – 076 658 5463
Kwamhlanga murder and attempted murder at Moloto – Detective Sergeant David Kekana – 082 948 8754.
Kwaggafontein murder – Detective Warrant officer Bheki Motambo – 072 462 6923.