Police make breakthrough in Osizweni gang violence
DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi says he hopes the recent arrests of murder suspects in Osizweni, Newcastle will put an end to violence in the area allegedly being carried out by rival youth gangs.
He was speaking after seven suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Mcebisi Rawulani, at Blauwbosch in Osizweni.
Police said the victim was reportedly on his way home with a group of youths when they were attacked by another group.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the victim was stabbed and hacked with bush knives while his friends managed to escape.
Seven suspects, between the ages of 17 and 22, were traced to a house at Blauwbosch. They have been arrested on charges of murder, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, possession of dangerous weapons as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. They are to appear in court on Tuesday.
Mkhwanazi commended the police officers from Osizweni for acting decisively.
“This area has been plagued by violence committed by armed youths who have formed gangs. The arrests are welcomed, and we hope that this will stem the tide of violence in that area,” said Mkhwanazi.
The township made headlines in October last year after videos of gang violence surfaced and spread on social media.
The war was between two gangs who call themselves “The Last Warning” and “Juveniles”. The gangs members are aged from 12 to 20.
At the time, residents told The Mercury they were living in fear. They said more than 13 people had been killed during gang violence.
According to residents, the two gangs walk around in groups of up to 50. They are armed with knives, pangas and guns, and terrorise the community.
The outcry by the community caught the attention of the police ministry, which came to the area to hold the police ministry imbizo at Osizweni hall.
The imbizo was attended by Police Minister Bheki Cele, national Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole and various government departments including the Departments of Education, Social Development and the National Prosecuting Authority.