Fatal stabbing at Glebelands Hostel brings 2018 death toll to five

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DURBAN, 16 April 2018 (ANA) – A man was stabbed to death at uMlazi’s Glebelands Hostel in the early hours of Sunday morning, bringing the suspected number of deaths linked to the notorious complex to 107 since 2014.

This is the fifth murder at the sprawling hostel complex – estimated to have about 22000 residents – since the start of the year.

“A murder case was opened at Umlazi police station after a 28-year-old man was stabbed to death yesterday morning at Glebelands Hostel,” the police spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal, lieutenant colonel Thulani Zwane, told African News Agency on Monday morning. No arrests had been made, he said.

The hostel came under intense scrutiny at the Moerane Commission of inquiry, established by Premier Willies Mchunu to investigate political killings in KwaZulu-Natal since 2011.

While testifying before the commission, activists working with hostel residents and residents themselves described Glebelands as a haven for hitmen working throughout the province and implicated police and politicians in hits.

However, police top brass denied this in their testimony, saying the murders at the complex were “purely criminal”.

The commission ended last month after running for more than a year. It is set to release its final report and recommendations after April, although it remains unclear if this will be made public.

Seven men, including a detective from Durban central police station, were arrested in December last year for crimes committed at the hostel between 19 August 2014 and 26 March 2016.

All of the accused are being charged under common purpose for, amongst others, murder and attempted murder.

Earlier this month, one of the seven was found guilty of the murder of a grandmother who lived at Glebelands. He was also tried under common purpose in that case and received a life sentence.

Another one of the seven will be appearing on Monday on murder charges.

All seven suspects are currently incarcerated. Those who have sought bail are awaiting the outcome of their applications, which will be heard at the Durban Regional Court on 26 April.

During arguments for and against bail last week, the court heard that state advocate Dorian Paver had been placed under 24-hour security as he had been receiving death threats related to the case.

– African News Agency (ANA)