Prison escapee gang boss among seven killed in Pietermaritzburg shootout
A gang leader was among seven people killed during a clandestine operation by a specialised police unit in Scottsville in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday night.
Five men and two women were shot dead by the police during a raid at a home on Fairfield Avenue shortly before 4pm.
It is understood members from the special task force led the operation after receiving information about the notorious gang leader who had been on the run since escaping from custody in April.
The police have not yet released the name of the man, who was among a group of 45 awaiting-trial prisoners who were being transported from prison to the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court when gunmen forced the truck transporting them off the road on April 28.
Addressing media at the scene on Tuesday, police minister Bheki Cele said the men who were killed were known to have been terrorising the community of Imbali in the Plessislaer policing precinct.
The Sunday Times reported at least 70 murders had taken place in the township of Imbali in the first three months of this year.
“We have about seven dead bodies. Five men who were notorious and very brutal to the people out there, and two women. Whether the women were willingly there or taken, the investigation and people working on the scene will tell us what next,” said Cele.
He said among the weapons found were AK47s and a lot of “new ammunition”.
“The main guy looks like he was injured about a week or two ago when he was in Bergville to assassinate somebody, so he was being treated medically and we will have to see who was treating him.”
Cele emphasised that the work for the police was not over as they would concentrate their efforts on clamping down on gangs operating within the Plessislaer area, which has the highest murder rate in the country.