KwaMashu shop owner faces murder charges for killing looter

Posted by Andile Sicetsha

Tensions were palpable in the protests we witnessed in KwaMashu, Durban, on Sunday, and it all culminated in the tragic death of a 17-year-old boy.

KwaMashu shop owner charged with killing looter

Durban police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed the suspect, a shop owner, was arrested and is scheduled to appear before the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder and possession of illegal firearm and ammunition.

At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, it’s believed a group of protesters from the KwaMashu Hostel took to the streets to voice their disgruntlement with their working conditions.

The march made its way to B-Section and those who had sinister motives proceeded to loot stores and destroy property.

One of the shops that were approached was that of the suspect in question.

“The group of protestors proceeded to a shop in B Section where they instructed the owner to vacate. The owner allegedly fired shots towards the crowd. A 17-year-old male was fatally shot and he sustained a gunshot wound to the chest. He was identified by his father as Xolani Sithole,” the statement read.

Immediately, Durban police swooped in to arrest the suspect before the protesting mob got to him first. According to Capt Gwala, the shop owner was found with a loaded 9mm pistol and 21 rounds of ammunition.

Shop owner’s gun linked to 2014 housebreaking case

The firearm’s serial number was screened in the police system and low-and-behold, it was discovered that “the firearm was stolen in Greenwood Park policing area in October 2014 in a housebreaking incident.”

At this time, no further charges linked to that housebreaking incident have been added to the shop owner’s murder and illegal firearms docket.

With regards to the protests, at least five looters were placed under arrest and charged with public violence.

The alleged looters are expected to appear before the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.