Five killed in suspected hit murders in Nelson Mandela Bay in a week

Crime scene police tape. File picture
Crime scene police tape. File picture
Image: File picture

Another person has been shot dead in a suspected hit murder in Nelson Mandela Bay.

This brings the total body count for hit murders to five in little less than a week, with two believed to be linked to taxi industry violence.

Reasons for the other murders remain unknown, with police stating that most of the killings were not linked.

The latest murder saw Prince Makina, 58, shot in the neck while walking in Mababela Street in Soweto-on-Sea at about 8pm on Wednesday.

Police say they are baffled by the murder as the seemingly harmless man was walking home from the bottle store with a bottle of alcohol under his arm when the incident took place.

Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said the motive was unknown and nothing had been stolen.

Officials on the scene said Makina had been found dead in the street clutching his bottle of alcohol.

“Information is scarce,” he said. “He was walking in the street and appears to have been shot at close range.

“People heard the shots and found him dead in the street a short while later.”

Police confirmed Makina appeared not to have been robbed and was not a known witness in any cases.

This comes after three people were killed in a series of suspected hits on Tuesday.

Taxi boss Gcobani Toto, 43, was killed outside the Brylin Independent Learning Centre in Fairview on Tuesday morning.

At 8pm on Tuesday, Noluthando Gayiza, 55, was shot dead outside her house in Msimka Street in New Brighton.

An hour later, Phumzile Jacobs, 44, was killed outside a house in Bira Street, Motherwell.

Mlungiseleli Mlanjana, 62, was killed in the driver’s seat of his Mercedes-Benz on October 31 when he was ambushed by an unknown number of gunmen who targeted him shortly after a taxi association meeting.

Police suspect that both taxi industry-related murders could be connected, but confirmed that the other three were not linked.

In all five murders, nothing was stolen.

In May, Port Elizabeth police revealed a spike in hit-related murders.

According to detectives, the main contributing factors to the increase in targeted killings were internal fighting within gangs, witness-related killings, murder for death benefit claims and, earlier in 2019, businesses linked to government tenders.

X