“HOWZIT?” That was how a gunman greeted Durban resident Keagen Chetty, in the parking lot of his flat, before gunning him down in front of his wife and best friend on Thursday.
Chetty, 36, his wife Dalene and a friend, who would not be named, were standing in the parking lot of a block of flats, on Tangerine Drive in Orient Hills, Isipingo, at 6.30am.
Chetty, who worked at South Coast Bus Service, had been taking his wife to work at the time.
The friend said they were standing next to the car, having a conversation, when a white VW Polo drove past and turned around at the cul de sac.
Colonel Thembeka Mbele, a police spokesperson, said there had been three men in the car.
Chetty’s friend said the car windows had been open slightly and one of the men had said “Howzit” as the car drew closer. The friend said one of the occupants got off and walked up to Chetty.
“He shot him – the bangs just went off. I think we took two steps and then realised what had happened. I lost my best friend – nothing will bring him back. The killers have ruined several lives,” the friend said, adding that the gunman had fired at Chetty even after he had fallen to the ground.
Mbele said several shots had been fired at Chetty and the killers fired more shots at the building as they drove off.
“One of the residents was shot and injured,” Mbele said.
Dhevan Govindasamy, a spokesperson for PT Alarms, said the vehicle used by the shooters had apparently been in the area for a while before the shooting.
“The deceased was found by his car door. The second victim was in his flat when the bullet penetrated the door, ricocheted off the wall and struck him in the arm,” Govindasamy said.
Chetty’s friend said the trio had thought the car occupants were looking for someone, or were lost.
“We were preparing to help them locate people in the flat. There are so many flats here. I thought they were visitors,” he said.
Chetty’s uncle, Jeff Reddy, said that the family was inconsolable.
“There are many rumours about the cause of his death. For now it’s mere speculation. We are not sure if it was a planned hit,” Reddy said.
“My nephew loved his daughter and was involved in many community activities. With the lockdown, he assisted many people in the flats,” Reddy said.
Chetty also co-managed the Spartan Football Club in the suburb.
Aiden David, the Isipingo community policing forum chairperson, urged residents to report suspicious vehicles in their area to the police.
David also urged the community to be more vigilant.
Chetty’s funeral is expected to take place tomorrow.
A case of murder and attempted murder has been opened at the Isipingo police station for investigation.
On Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said 69 people had been killed in the country between June 1 and 7, after level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown was implemented. He said cases of attempted murder and violence against women had also increased.
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