MASKANDI musician Sjula “Iqhawe LakoMenziwa” Biyela was shot dead in a crossfire with the cops.
The incident happened at Ntibane Lodge in Babanango in KZN on Saturday night, 10 February.
Sjula’s brother, Sihle Biyela and friends Bizokwakhe Sithole (52) and Lindani Ncanana (37) were also fatally wounded in the shoot-out.
According to the cops, officers under the Stabilization Operation Team in KZN were looking for them in connection with several cases of murder.
The cops heard that the four were hiding at a lodge and when they were asked to open the door, they responded with fire and the cops fired back.
KZN police spokesman Colonel Robert Netshiunda told Daily Sun that the operation was based on intelligence regarding the suspects’ whereabouts.
“The intelligence led the police officers to a lodge where the suspects were hiding. When police announced their presence, the suspects fired shots from inside three charlets and in self-defense, police returned fire and a shoot-out ensued,” he said.
Netshiunda said after the shoot-out, four suspected hitmen were found to have suffered gunshot wounds and they were certified dead at the scene.
He said that no police officer was injured during the shoot-out.
“Cases of attempted murder against police officers were also registered,” he said.
Biyela family member Quality Biyela, who is also a maskandi musician, said as a family they are shocked to hear allegations like this against their family members.
“I don’t recall that they were involved in murder incidents, and I don’t recall crime charges opened against them. My brother Iqhawe LakoMenziwa, who is based in Joburg, visited home two weeks ago and he was expected to go back to Joburg on Tuesday, 13 February,” he said.
Sjula hailed from Ulundi in KZN and had made a name for himself in the maskandi music scene with his albums Ishumi Leminyaka, Amagwinya Ashisayo, and Yimi uNumber4.