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Three people executed and one injured in suspected hit killing

Police find bodies of two women and a man in an open field in Port Elizabeth's Walmer township

Image: www.pexels.com

Three young people were executed in cold blood while a fourth is fighting for her life in hospital in what police believe to be yet more targeted hits in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Gunshots rang out in Walmer Township just as loadshedding hit the area at 10pm on Tuesday, with the victims found near Walmer Primary School in an open field.

Police on patrol spotted the bodies lying in the field, between Community Road and Yoyo Street, near a gravel road and train tracks.

All four victims – three women and a man – were found face down on the field with single gunshot wounds to the backs of their heads.

They had all been shot at close range, but one survived.

Two of the dead have been identified as Sinethemba Dumezweni, 23, and Sisipho Pongolo, 34, from Walmer Township.

The third victim – a female – is still unidentified.

The sole survivor, aged 15 – who was also shot in the head – is in a critical condition.

Police officials on the scene said she was unconscious when found and appeared to have been left for dead.

One official said it appeared she had tried to interlock her fingers behind her head before she was shot.

She was put on life support by paramedics and rushed to hospital.

This brings the number of suspected hit-related murders in the Bay since late January to at least 20.

The latest murders took place about 150m from Yoyo Street, where residents on Wednesday were oblivious to the killings.

Several residents living near to the murder scene said they had not heard or seen anything.

However, one resident, who declined to be named, said she had heard at least four gunshots as load-shedding hit.

“The lights just went out at about 10pm and then I heard the shots.

“It was so dark that I did not see anything.

“Only later did I get up and see all the police far away,” she said, pointing to the opposite side of the field.

Police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said that police on patrol in a van spotted the bodies lying in the field next to a gravel road.

“They went to investigate and found two women and a man dead on the scene.

“The fourth person, a woman, was alive and rushed to hospital,” she said.

Janse van Rensburg said the motive was unknown.

However, robbery had been ruled out as nothing appeared to have been stolen.

Eastern Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga described the killings as senseless.

Ntshinga instructed that the police’s 72-hour activation plan be implemented.

“I want these barbaric criminals behind bars and all resources [used], including crime intelligence, forensic experts and seasoned detectives to ensure that no intelligence, evidence and information that could ensure a successful arrest, is lost,” she said.

On Sunday, Luvuyo “Mabele” Plaatjies, 34, was gunned down in the garage of a house in Mbane Street in Zwide.

He had been released from jail in 2019, following his arrest in 2015 for allegedly being part of a gang that robbed a cigarette delivery truck.

Only one person has been arrested so far following the spate of recent suspected hits.


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