Yanga Nyalara Bara

Nyalara faces multiple counts of murder. Photos: SAPS.

‘Extortion gangster’ Nyalara linked to a number of Khayelitsha mass shootings

Nyalara was allegedly involved in the murder of 12 people on 15 May 2021 and one of the mass shootings that have plagued Khayelitsha this year.

Yanga Nyalara Bara

Nyalara faces multiple counts of murder. Photos: SAPS.

Yanga Nyalara made his first appearance before the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 4 July, following his arrest earlier this month. The accused – who has long been wanted by the law – is a prominent member of a gang that preys on informal businesses, according to the State.

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NYALARA PROMINENT GANG MEMBER

The 30-year-old accused faces 31 charges that include 18 counts of murder along with attempted murders, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and dealing/possession of drugs.

“He abandoned his right to bail and his case was postponed to 18 August 2022. More charges are likely to be added as the investigation continues,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila on Monday.

According to Nyalara’s charge sheet, the State alleges that he was a prominent member of a criminal gang that engaged in extortion of informal businesses, drug dealing and other crimes in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

The first count Nyalara is accused of is “Performing Acts Aimed at Bringing About a Pattern of Criminal Gang Activity” – counts 2 to 31 are related to this charge and the State says he carried out these criminal activities between 15 May 2021 and 30 June 2022.

LINKED TO KHAYELITSHA MASS SHOOTINGS

Saturday, 15 May 2021, was dubbed “Bloody Saturday” after dozens of people were shot and killed in Khayelitsha.

Twelve of the murders Nyalara is charged with were allegedly carried out on that day.

Nine victims – Gavin Futho, Mzingisi Mbilini, Hassan Mohamed, Ahmed Abulla, Osmar Alukar, Mandlakayise Simelane, Thabiso Simelane, Thembile Lemani and Azora Siphiwe – were shot and killed in Y-Block, Site B.

Three more victims – Omar Osman Weydow, Asemahle Mayeiso, Siyabonga Bethani – were killed in other parts of Site B on the same day.

The accused is also linked to the mass shooting that took place at the corner of Maphongwana and Idada Street in Site C on 8 May 2022. Fundisile Mxhonywa, Khayalethu Nelani, Athenkosi Bonkolo, Mthokozisi Mhlakaza, Asanda Nofemela, Siyuvile Lubobo and Fundisile Mxhonywa were shot and killed.

DRUG BUST LEADS TO NYALARA’S ARREST

On Friday, 1 July, The South African reported that Members attached to the Western Cape police’s Operation Restore conducted an operation in the early hours of Friday, 1 July, that led to the arrest of three people, including a suspect wanted for a string of violent crimes.

A house in Nassau Street, Bothasig was searched and two women – aged 21 and 28 – and a man were arrested for possession of tik and mandrax with a combined value of R90 000.

Nyalara’s charge sheet confirms that he was arrested in Bothasig “upon or about the 30 June 2022” for possession of 313g of tik.

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