Cele police

Photo: Twitter

Police minister calls for stronger investigation into Umlazi killings

Police Minister Bheki Cele has urged police to bolster the investigation into the murder of 11 people in the KwaZulu-Natal township.

Cele police

Photo: Twitter

Police Minister Bheki Cele has called on the South African Police Service to put extra effort into rounding up the investigation into the killing of 11 people, in Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Cele visited the province on Thursday 2 September 2021, following the murder of 11 people in two separate shooting incidents. On Sunday, 29 August 2021, six people were shot and killed in the U Section of uMlazi, two days later three gunmen opened fire inside a house in the W Section of the township, killing five people, while three others sustained serious injuries.

Cele said that while police were yet to make arrests on both cases, they were now following up on a strong lead in the one incident, that was set to shed more light into the motive and whether or not the shootings were linked. 

“Most of those killed in both these incidents, including the 14 year old boy, were sadly people at the wrong place, at the wrong time, but some were unsavoury characters who were linked to criminality taking place in surrounding areas,” Cele said.

“A profile of one of the deceased shows he was a convicted criminal who was arrested and handed down a 12 years suspended sentence for very serious crimes, including counts of armed robbery and possession of an illegal firearm. However, police must find the killers of these 11 people, regardless of who they were and what they did,” Cele said.

Meanwhile, Cele said he was pleased with the progress of investigations into the brutal murders of 36 people in Phoenix. 

A total of 56 suspects have so far been arrested by the team of top detectives who were deployed to the area, to investigate the murders that occurred during the July unrest.

He also noted the developments in the investigations into the killing of Gauteng Health department whistleblower, Babita Deokaran. Cele commended the speed at which the team has been able to crack the case, leading to the latest arrest of two suspects.