Suspect arrested in land killing

Angry residents gathered next to the tent that was demolished on a vacant plot.

A taxi owner has been arrested in connection with the killing of Town Two community leader, Mthunzi Zuma.

For the past three weeks, Lingelethu police station officers have come under fire and been accused of incompetence for failing to make arrests in the case (“Community activist gunned down” Vukani, June 8 and “Family of murdered Mthunzi demand justice.

Mr Zuma, 40, was shot on the left side of his head just after 7pm on Sunday May 28, in Makhaya, shortly after he left his home to attend a community meeting about land being occupied in the area.

However, police finally made a breakthrough last Friday.

Lingelethu police station commander Colonel Fana Morgan Dlamini said the suspect appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Monday June 25, on a charge of murder.

“We expect to arrest another two suspects. And we are still continuing with our investigation and at this stage we can’t divulge more information,” said Colonel Dlamini.

He praised the community for working tirelessly in assisting them to apprehend the killers and urged them to keep on doing a sterling job.

An eye witness who was standing next to Mr Zuma when he was killed said he had helped police identify the suspect.

He said they spotted the vehicle used in the crime at the Makhaza taxi rank and one of the suspects was inside the car.

“ But I now fear for my life and I no longer live here in Town Two,” he said.

He told Vukani that when Mr Zuma was killed he thought he was going to be shot as well because he was standing right next to him.

Mr Zuma’s mother, Lucy Zuma, said she was pleased that one of the suspects who gunned down her innocent son had been arrested.

Ms Zuma said she had been praying non-stop for their arrests and her prayers had been answered.

“I have always wanted to see the people who took my son’s life away and I have seen one of them. I now hope that they will face the wrath of the law,” she said.

However, when Vukani spoke to David Speelman, deputy chairman of Codeta, which operates in the area, he said they had not been informed that one of their members had been accused of the crime.

He said he couldn’t comment further about the matter.

Town Two residents said they were pleased that an arrest had been made. They also said that despite Law Enforcement demolishing and confiscating their structures, they would continue to occupy the land.

The residents said Mr Zuma fought for them to have the land.

The residents have barricaded the vacant land along Govan Mbeki Street with stones and heavy metal and have again opted to rebuild their shacks.

Resident Mcebisi Fanishe said nothing would deter them from occupying the land.

He said they had lived as backyarders for many years and were unable to afford the monthly rent because most of them were unemployed.

Anda Ntsodo, mayoral area east committee member called for an end to land invasions in Khayelitsha.

“We desperately urge the community to assist us in creating conditions that are conducive to service delivery so that we are able to fast-track the plans and service delivery we have for this area. “The City has a court order interdicting any person from illegally occupying the land referred to,” he said.

Mr Ntsodo said although they empathise with the plight of residents, they simply cannot allow the invasion of land.

He said invaded land becomes a fire-, flood- and health-risk and makes the provision of basic and emergency services almost impossible in some cases.