Police kill three suspects allegedly involved in the murder of KZN top cop, one on the run
Three suspects believed to be responsible for the murder of Lieutenant Colonel Jabulani Ndawonde were killed in a shootout with police on Monday. A fourth suspect remains at large.
Three of the four suspects believed to be involved in the armed robbery and murder of Lieutenant Colonel Jabulani Ndawonde in May were fatally wounded in a shootout with members of the law on Monday, 14 June.
Unfortunately, two dogs from the Pietermaritzburg K9 unit were killed during the gun battle between police and the suspects.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL NDAWONDE MURDERED
Ndawonde – who was the acting station commander of Ndwandwe SAPS – was killed near the Bhamshela taxi rank on 24 May. He was off-duty and on his way home, travelling in a marked state vehicle, when he was ambushed by unknown attackers and shot dead. Ndawonde’s vehicle crashed into a fence next to the R614 road after the shooting.
“Lieutenant Colonel Ndawonde sustained multiple gunshot wounds and his 9mm service pistol and an R5 sutomatic rifle were taken by the suspects,” said Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale.
A case of murder and armed robbery was opened and allocated to the Durban Hawks for further investigation.
INTELLIGENCE LED TO SHOOTOUT WITH NDAWONDE MURDER SUSPECTS
The Hawks received intelligence information pertaining to the whereabouts of the suspects involved in Ndawonde’s murder – this led to the shootout that took place on Monday. The suspects were travelling in a Maroon Jeep, which matched the description police were given, from Maqongqo toward Pietermaritzburg.
A multidisciplinary team – made up of members from Hawks Serious Organised Crime Durban, Crime Intelligence, Pietermaritzburg K9 and Tactical Response Team – stopped the jeep and the suspects responded with gunfire.
“Two suspects jumped out of the vehicle and disappeared in the nearby bushes whilst the other two tried to drive back to Maqongqo but unfortunately the vehicle went down a ditch,” said Mogale. “Closer inspection revealed that the suspect driver had been fatally wounded.”
BLOOD TRAIL THROUGH SUGAR CANE, K9s KILLED
One of the wounded suspects left a trail of blood as he and an accomplice tried to escape via the nearby sugar cane fields. “Due to the complex terrain, assistance of the Pietermaritzburg K9 was enlisted,” said Mogale.
A K9 police officer and his dog, Shaka, entered the field and followed the trail left by the suspects. Unfortunately, Shaka was shot and killed by one of the suspects he located – the suspect also let off shots at the members, who fatally wounded him when they returned fire.
“Another K9 member with a dog, Simba, joined the team in locating the third suspect,” said Mogale. “Simba engaged the suspect but unfortunately was fatally wounded and so was the suspect.”
A third K9 unit dog, Duke, was injured by the fourth suspect but fortunately it survived. “The suspect shot Duke and managed to flee deeper into the dense bushes,” said Mogale. Duke was airlifted to hospital for urgent medical care and is recovering.
The fourth suspect remains at large.
JUSTICE FOR THE NDAWONDE FAMILY
The provincial Head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal, Major General Lesetja Senona, praised the multidisciplinary team for ensuring that justice was brought to the Ndawonde family and offered his condolences to the K9 Pietermaritzburg unit for the losses suffered.
“We shall continue to ensure that communities are protected from these criminals and justice prevails,” said Senona.
The multidisciplinary team recovered four unlicensed weapons – including a R4 rifle, a R5 rifle and two 9mm pistols – along with a dashboard blue light and a box of ammunition. Mogale said 13 counts of attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, malicious damage to property and inquest dockets have been opened for investigation.
TWO OF THE DECEASED INVOLVED IN ‘MASSACRE’
After the incident, police discovered that two of the deceased suspects were allegedly involved in the “massacre” of six people in Marianhill, KwaZulu-Natal in 2017.
The pair were found guilty of five counts of murder and one attempted murder by the Durban High Court on 26 March 2021 but they escaped from the court holding cells during the recess after they were found guilty.