Cross border crime fighter shot dead in KZN

Cross border crime fighter shot dead in KZN

Sandile “Mteshe” Tembe, who was involved in cross-border crime fighting in northern KwaZulu-Natal, has been killed in Manguzi.

Tembe was a member of Community Policing Forum (CPF) and was shot dead this weekend at a shop near his home.

It comes a week after the funeral of the murdered founder and chairperson of Umhlabuyalingana Society against Crime (USACA) Juda Mthethwa. People living in this part of the province are complaining about rampant crime.

Another KZN anti-crime activist shot dead:

After almost two weeks the provincial government has promised to deploy more law enforcement officers to Manguzi to curb escalating crime especially cross-border crime. Tembe was killed by three unknown people near his home.

Cross-border crime has been a thorny issue in the Umkhanyakude district for a long time. In 2017, high levels of cross-border crime especially the theft and hijacking of vehicles – in the area on the Mozambican border prompted then president Jacob Zuma and other ministers to visit the area.

It gave rise to a plan to build a concrete barrier to prevent criminals from smuggling stolen and hijacked vehicles across the Mozambican border. Meanwhile, communities formed organisations like the Umhlabuyalingana Society against Crime (USAC) and Jozini Anti-Car Theft Committee. Russell Tembe says his relative, Sandile was involved in fighting cross-border crime

“I can confirm that last night around 9, Sandile was shot dead and according to what we saw, 33 rounds of ammunitions went through Sandile’s body and it was so horrific,”

“Sandile was among the people that were fighting against cross border and he was a member of CPF and it is unfortunate that we are losing so many people on the very same type of assassination,” he said.

Fana Ngubane, chairperson of the Jozini Anti-Car Theft Committee, says the killing of those leading efforts to combat crime makes people reluctant to report crime.

“The killing of leaders in the area is not good at all because even the government has failed to deal with the situation. People are now reluctant to report crime incidents because they believe police are not doing justice, instead they are killed,”

“Right now, we are waiting for the government to give us a report about South African vehicles that are in Mozambique. The president must come to us as he is the only person who can deal with this matter, not his sub-ordinates,” said Ngubane.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala says an investigation is under way.

“Manguzi police are investigating a case of murder following an incident where a 32 year old man was fatally shot by unknown man at Manguzi. It is alleged that on 4th of March the victim was at a local tuck shop when three unknown man armed with firearm opened fire at him. He was declared dead at the scene after he sustained multiple gunshot wounds,”

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