The funeral of an alleged KwaZulu-Natal drug dealer ended in chaos on Sunday as police were pelted with stones for attempting to arrest a group of men who fired guns during the ceremony.
KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula condemned the conduct on Tuesday, saying the weekend funeral service in Mophela Cemetery, Mpumalanga, was chaotic.
“Some funeral mourners participated in a gun salute and randomly opened fire during the funeral service. This poses a danger to innocent bystanders attending the funeral.”
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said officers from various units and agencies were monitoring the funeral when they heard the gunshots.
“They identified the alleged perpetrators and approached them. While police attempted to disarm the perpetrators, a group of mourners pelted the police officers with stones and other objects, obstructing them from executing their duties.”
Naicker said the police officers were able to seize four unlicensed firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle, an R1 rifle, two pistols and ammunition.
“The suspects managed to escape during the attack on the police officers. Police are still pursuing the suspects, as they are known, and hope to make arrests soon. The firearms will be subjected to ballistic tests to establish if they were used in any other crimes within the country.”
Jula said police would no longer stand for random illegal acts.
“We will continue to deal decisively with those that partake in such illegal activities and we call on communities to stand up and deplore the behaviour of such thugs who place their lives at risk,” he said.