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Speaker notes for Police Minister, General Bheki Cele on the occasion of police investigations into multiple murders in KZN hosted in Durban on 26 January 2022
26 January 2022

Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale;
Deputy Minister of State Security; Zizi Kodwa
National Head of Hawks Dr/Adv Lt General Lebeya
DNC Lt General Masemola
Provincial Commissioner of KZN, Lt General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi
Senior SAPS members
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Afternoon
Thank you for availing yourself, as we bring KwaZulu Natal residents and the nation at large, up to speed, on some of the police investigations into the recent ‘mass killings’ in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Yes indeed the recent multiple murders of 14 people shot and killed in Inanda and Richmond respectively, sent shockwaves across the country.
14 people killed brutally in two crime scenes in 24 hours is simply unacceptable.
It is on this score that Myself and the Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale; as well as Deputy National Commissioners of Policing, Lt General Masemola and DNC for Crime Detection, Lt General Ntshinga made our way to this part of the country as soon as the news broke.
We came down on a mission to find out what exactly is going on and how far are police from bringing to book the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.
We were also inundated with calls from various concerned sectors of society, urging the SAPS to act fast, so that the province doesn’t erupt in violence, fuelled by such attacks.
I want to take this opportunity and make it clear that the Police Ministry and the SAPS management both at National and the Province, will not sit back and allow the province of KwaZulu-Natal to once again be turned into a battlefield.
This is why during our visit with the Deputy Minister last week, we addressed senior managers of the SAPS in the province.
In this meeting, we didn’t mince our words when we called on police to up their game if they want to turn this crime picture around. We called on the investigation teams to, at all times, be a step or two ahead of these criminals who seek to undermine the authority of the state.
We are pleased with the progress thus far that indicates, that the various investigating teams have heeded this call to act with agility and precision, by finding those who either planned these hits or pulled the triggers.
We simply cannot co-govern with criminals.

RICHMOND SHOOTING Members of the media, To this end, much progress has been made in the Richmond multiple shooting that claimed 8 lives, including that of a 17 year old teenager. The shooting took place on the 14th of January at a homestead in Esigcakeni. A multi-disciplinary operation was conducted in the Richmond area and resulted in the arrest of seven suspects, aged between 21 and 43 years; who were arrested in different locations and found to be in possession of several high caliber firearms and ammunition, including possession of drugs.

In the KwaMakhuta shooting that took place last Sunday on the 23rd of January 2022, investigations are ongoing and police following up on strong leads.
Four men aged between 24 and 28 were gunned down in a drive-by shooting, while seated under a tree.
One suspect has been arrested in the Inanda shooting where six people were killed on the 14th January 2022 and a firearm has been siezed.
Police are strongly persuing infomation that the firearms are linked to the multiple murders.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
This province has recorded 229 incidents of multiple murders from 1ST of April last year to 23 January 2022.
531 people were killed in these incidents, majority of which took place in the Ethekwini municipality, followed by the Umgungundlovu municipality.
While the motives for some of these attacks are still subject of police investigation,
Drug wars Retaliation and revenge remain the leading causes for cases where motives have been established.
This motive is followed by robbery either at a home, or business.
Arguments are the third highest causative factors for multiple killings.
The top three areas of multiple murders are at the home of victims or perpetrator or the home of a family member, friend or a neighbour.
Many of the victims were also gunned down on the streets, open fields or while inside a mode of transport such as a car, taxi or bus.

In conclusion,
These figures do paint a grim picture and translate to hundreds of families, looking for answers and searching for justice and closure.
We owe it to the victims of these multiple shootings and all victims of murders, to go over and above the normal call of duty and find these killers; come hell or high water.
The same agility and intelligence used to track and trace the suspects in the latest breakthroughs, must be used to bring justice for these victims too.

During April to January, 2022 1372 firearms were seized through various police operations.
We remain encouraged however, that such police breakthroughs and swift arrests will send a strong message that police are capable and up to the task.
The removal of these dangerous weapons off our streets is also most welcomed and I am confident it will go a long way in ensuring that the proliferation of firearms is curtailed.
When guns are removed from the wrong hands, lives are spared.
We trust the capable team led by the Provincial Commissioner that they will work twice as hard in ensuring that parts of KZN province are not again turned into killingfield.
We also trust that the courts will, after securing convictions, mete out appropriate sentences, fit for those crimes.
I thank you.

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