The scene at Fairfield Avenue, Scottsville
Seven suspected gang members have been shot dead during a shootout in Scottsville on Tuesday afternoon. According to police minister Bheki Cele who was at the scene, the leader of the gang that has been terrorising Imbali was among those who died.
Police minister Bheki Cele arrived at the scene on Tuesday evening at 6.40 pm. Addressing the media outside the house where the shootout took place, he said AK47s were among the guns found there. He said the gang had been living the high life with cognac and expensive liquor, enormous TVs and a couple of cars that are believed to have been stolen.
Police spokesperson colonel Thembeka Mbhele said earlier seven people were killed in a shootout between police and a security company. She said one of the dead had been among those who escaped in a mass breakout from a police van last month.
Mbhele said police were tipped off that a notorious gang had been living in the house. “They have been renting the house since the beginning of May. When the suspects noticed the police they started shooting and there was an exchange of fire,” said Mbhele. She said two of the dead were women and that about six firearms were found there.
The shootout happened in the Fairfield Avenue area.
Chirag Beekrum who lives in a nearby house said he was coming from Hayfields Mall when he heard gunshots.
“When I heard the first four I thought they were warning shots but after I heard more I figured there was an altercation,” Beekrum said.
He said the house where the incident happened had been vacant for three months.
Another resident told The Witness she had heard that prisoners that had escaped, broken into the house and had been living there for the past two weeks.
Police, Mi7, Red Alert and Magma are currently on the scene.
Fairfield Avenue is currently closed while residents have been told to stay inside.
Motorists are also advised to use alternative routes.
The scene is still active. This is a developing story.
* This story has been updated with police comment and amended as police confirmed information.