Phola Boxing Day Gunfight Leaves 1 Dead, Another Wounded

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A deadly gunfight over a cellphone on Boxing Day in Phola, Mpumalanga, left one person dead and another nursing a gunshot wound.

Recounting the bloody events of Sunday, Sergeant Thabang Petros Ntuli said: “A 29-year-old man was shot and assaulted by a mob in Phola and later died at Phola Clinic after he allegedly shot and injured 37-year-old man”.

Sergeant Ntuli said at about 18:10, 37-year-old Edwin Zakhele Ndinisa known as “Mzeke” was shot and injured allegedly by a 29-year-old Divas Gondwe.

In retaliation, Gondwe was beaten up by a mob. He was also shot during the assault.

Gondwe later died. 

Another man, 29-year-old Bhuti Mashiane, was assaulted for trying to stop the mob from assaulting Gondwe.

Sergeant Ntuli said events turned for the worse after Ndinisa received a call from one of the local councilors requesting him to assist her to recover her cellphone that was allegedly taken by Gondwe, who was later spotted at Shabalala’s tavern in Phola. 

Phola is a populated place in the Emalahleni Local Municipality, Nkangala District Municipality, Mpumalanga.

When Ndinisa and his companions tried to confront Gondwe in an attempt to retrieve the cellphone, he allegedly took out his gun and shot at them wounding Ndinisa in the shoulder. 

Wounded, Ndinisa managed to fire back with his 9mm pistol at Gondwe who was set upon by a mob.

Sergeant Ntuli said police intervened and had to call back up to contain the situation.

Ndinisa was taken to Witbank General Hospital and the other two men Gondwe and Mashiane were transported to Phola Clinic.

The mob followed Gondwe to Phola Clinic, where they tried to force their way in.

Again police battled the mob until an ambulance was able to take the two men to Witbank General Hospital.

However, on arrival at the hospital, Gondwe was pronounced dead.

Police did not say if the councillor’s cellphone was eventually recovered. However, police have recovered both guns used in the shooting.

No arrests were made but police are investigating and a case of murder and another of attempted murder have been opened at the Phola Police Station.

Police are appealing to those who might have any information that can assist and lead the police to the arrest of the perpetrators in the whole tragic activity to contact Phola SAPS Detectives Commander Captain Christina Xaba Phola SAPS on 013 643 8601/2 or 076 605 4760.