Petros Sidney Mabuza, also known by the aliases “Mr Big” or “Mshengu”, was gunned down in broad daylight in Hazyview, Mpumalanga on Thursday afternoon, 17 June. Footage of the incident has since surfaced online. Mabuza was suspected of being involved in rhino poaching and other criminal offences, including murder, in the province.
SUSPECTED POACHING KINGPIN MABUZA KILLED
Mabuza was shot in Hazyview and allegedly died en route to Kiaat Hospital in Mbombela on Thursday afternoon. His vehicle, an orange Ford Ranger, was riddled with at least 17 bullet holes.
Mpumalanga South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi confirmed that Mabuza was killed.
Hlathi told SowetanLive that police require the community’s assistance to track down the suspect’s responsible for the shooting and said that Mabuza’s killing was clearly a hit.
“The man was shot in broad daylight in town, in front of people, and we believe people have seen and know the wanted suspects. We call on the public to contact the police anonymously,” said Hlathi.
In the CCTV footage of the incident, a black car pulls up alongside the Ford Ranger – which is parked on the side of the road – and several individuals climb out and approach Mabuza’s vehicle.
The black car disappears from the frame and presumably makes a u-turn as it returns and the individuals climb back into it before it speeds off.
“We do not want to speculate if this was gang-related or not but the investigation is going to lead us,” said Hlathi.
According to SowetanLive, was out on R200 000 bail related to rhino poaching charges after his arrest in 2019. Mabuza, along with three other suspects, also faced murder charges related to the killing of an individual who allegedly owed him money. The deceased’s body was recovered from a river in Bushbuckridge.
Brigadier Hlathi encourages members of the public with information that may be able to assist police’s investigation to contact their nearest police station.