Masked police officers murder resident of the eNkanini Occupation

12 March 2022
Abahlali baseMjondolo Emergency Press Statement

Masked police officers murder resident of the eNkanini Occupation

Last night, at around 11pm, a large number of police officers arrived at the eNkanini Occupation in Cato Crest, not far from the eKhenana Commune. The number plates had been removed from their cars, and their faces were masked. They had someone with them, also masked, who took them to particular homes. The residents report that they thought that the police officers were not local, and that they heard them saying that they had a list of ten people to arrest.They first went straight to Vusi Mazula’s home, broke through the gate and kicked in the door to gain entry. They kicked him demanding that he give them an unlicenced firearm which they claimed he had. When he told them that he did not have an unlicenced firearm they continued to assault him, and then arrested him and dragged him with them as they went to Mmiseli Khondlo’s home. They also demanded an unlicensed firearm from Mmisele, beat him and then arrested him. The next person to be beaten and arrested was Paul Msibi. They then went to Thandeka Sithunsa’s home, beat her, dragged her in front of her three children and arrested her.

Thandeka’s husband, Siyabonga Manqele was not in the house at the time of the assault and the arrest, however when he rushed home the police shot him to death with a big firearm. Siyabonga was unarmed when the masked police officers shot and killed him. The police then used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the residents who rushed to the scene. The community sat with the body until 4:00 am when it was removed.

The police then took Vusi, Mnisele, Paul and Thandeka to the Durban Central Police Station where they remain in custody. The police have given no reason for the arrests, and the four have not yet been charged. Because Thandeka is in custody we do not yet have the full details of the shooting of her husband.

This morning roads leading to Mayville, eNkanini, Ashwerwood and eKhenana were blocked in protest.


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