Pictures of him lying slumped in a bakkie with a gaping head wound surfaced after he was reportedly gunned down‚ along with eight other suspected would-be robbers‚ in Howick‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ on Saturday night.
Mduduzi Manqele was killed when he and the suspected gang of would-be robbers were intercepted en route to an ATM bombing.
A police officer close to the investigation told TMG Digital that a joint operation was conducted on Saturday night at around 8.42pm along the R617 Mpophomeni Road with the Durban crime intelligence‚ dog and organised crime units‚ and the Strategic Task Force (STF).
“The members were acting on information received with regards to suspects wanted for being involved in a police murder‚ ATM bombings and armed robberies. The information was that suspects were planning to bomb ATMs in Howick‚” said the police officer.
The officer said the STF attempted to stop two identified suspected vehicles along the R617 approximately 15 kilometres from Howick. However‚ the suspects opened fire on STF members.
“A gun battle ensued‚ resulting in eight suspects [being] fatally wounded and one injured. The injured suspect was taken to hospital for treatment. Three AK-47 assault rifles‚ one R5 rifle and four 9mm pistols were recovered in the suspects’ possession‚” the officer added.
Also recovered were two hijacked vehicles and a bag of primed commercial explosives.
Manqele‚ 53‚ came to notoriety in January 2011 when he was linked to a beheading incident in which a teenage boy‚ Loyisa Jokweni‚ had been killed.
Manqele had been arrested alongside Roger Thusi‚ and faced charges of murdering Jokweni‚ 18‚ whose head was found in a freezer in the home of Thusi’s girlfriend in France‚ Pietermaritzburg‚ in what was revealed in court as a “get-rich quick” stunt.
Manqele‚ who resided in Mafakatini near Mpophomeni‚ was later acquitted while Thusi received a life sentence.
Manqele‚ at the time of his death‚ lived in the Mbizana area of Vulindlela‚ in Henley Dam‚ near Pietermaritzburg.
Police have not responded to queries about the incident.