Two ‘hitmen’ nabbed during raids

Cops make early morning swoop on homes in KwaDwesi following tip-off

Two suspected triggermen linked to a double murder that took place three months ago were arrested yesterday. Police are not naming the men, both 21, until they have been charged in court.

The early morning arrests followed a joint operation between the Motherwell Cluster hit murder task team, Operational Command Centre and trio task team after an investigation allegedly connected the men to a double hit in Joe Slovo, KwaDwesi, in February.

They are also suspected of possible involvement in a third hit earlier this year.

Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said the raids took place early yesterday at two homes in the KwaDwesi area after a tip-off.

“Both suspects had been on the run for several months,” he said.

“The teams mobilised and simultaneously raided both addresses where the suspects were believed to be hiding.”

Beetge said two stolen 9mm pistols and 52 rounds of ammunition had been seized during the raids.

The two men have allegedly been linked to the murder of Masixole Booi, 26, and Zanenkosi Nonjiwa, 28, who died during a dispute between rival gangs of robbers.

The bodies of Booi and Nonjiwa were found in a field near the Nkandla settlement on the outskirts of Joe Slovo.

They had both been shot in the head at close range with a shotgun.

Detectives suspect the motive was a territorial dispute between gangs of robbers operating in the Bay.

“We think the suspects were also involved with a third hit.

“However, we should know more as the investigation unravels,” one officer close to the probe, who cannot be named, said.

The hit murder task team was established after a spate of executions of members of the rival 28s and 26s gangs.

State witnesses were also being killed.

The task team is headed by veteran detective Colonel Jackie Grobler, who specialises in serious and violent crimes.

Grobler was instrumental in the arrest of former police sergeant Mlungisi Tsitsi, 36, who allegedly orchestrated his wife’s murder in 2015.

He and three suspected hitmen are accused of murdering Tsitsi’s wife, Port Elizabeth policewoman Constable Nomathamsanqa Ivy.

Grobler’s efforts also led to the jailing of Ndumiso “Twenty” Booi, 24, Mzolimo Makisi, 33, and Mawethu Khaka, 29, who still have a string of pending cases and are linked to one of the Bay’s most notorious armed robbery and murder gangs.

The three men were each sentenced to life imprisonment in September for the killing of state witness Zanela Jonga, 32.

Booi had arranged her murder while he was in prison in April 2013.

Grobler is investigating other hit-related murders thought to be connected to the same gang.

Beetge said the men arrested in KwaDwesi yesterday would initially be charged for the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, with the murder charges to be added as the case unfolded.

The men will appear in the New Brighton Magistrate’s Court today.

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