In an event rarely seen in that part of town, a man was gunned down execution style in broad daylight in Van der Lingen Plein, directly behind the Toringkerk in central Paarl on Tuesday 9 April.
One source told Paarl Post that about 25 bullet casings were found on the scene, two nearby motor vehicles were also hit and he adds that it is a miracle a passer-by was not also struck in the hail of bullets.
The murder scene attracted a crowd of people who stood around in disbelief. Police spokesperson Capt Louise du Plessis said the police responded to the scene at about 12:10. The man was found with multiple gunshot wounds.
He has been identified as Khayelitsha resident Ntandazo Manqola (29).
An eyewitness, who cannot be identified for safety reasons, said she was on her way to a nearby hair salon while driving behind a white Toyota Fortuner in Pastorie Avenue.
She explained she was driving in the direction of the church when the Fortuner stopped. Four men jumped out of the vehicle and ran towards a man walking on Van der Lingen Plein
“They jumped out and just after that I counted 13 shots,” she said. “This happened just after 11:30. I have never been that scared. When I heard the shots I turned my car around as soon as I could and drove off,” she said.
After the shooting the suspects ran back to the Fortuner and drove down Van der Lingen Street in the direction of the Bergrivier Boulevard.
According to a source close to the investigation, the Fortuner had falsified CF registration plates which were not picked up on any of the entry points to the N1 by licence plate recognition technology.
The victim, Manqola, had appeared in the Paarl regional court on the same day on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances with five accomplices.
In 2014 Paarl Post reported Manqola and five accomplices robbed Orleans Off Sale liquor store in Brook Avenue, New Orleans, on 11 September 2014. Court documents indicate that the suspects were arrested shortly after the robbery. His fellow accused are Mahlubi Mangena (26), Zukisani Liliso (28), Simphiwe Kwaza (35), Anathi Ndabeni (age unknown) and Thandile Kolanisi (31).
The accused were held at Allandale Correctional Services and were granted bail of R1 000 on 1 December 2016. Liliso, who lived in Wellington, died of unnatural causes in 2017.
A source close to the investigation said Manqola looked nervous in court on Tuesday and said his life had been threatened at his last court appearance on 6 November last year.
The motive for the killing is still unclear, but it is suspected that it is linked to the court proceedings and possible evidence which Manqola was to give against his accomplices.
The Paarl police is investigating a case of murder.
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