By Thupeyo Muleya
John Sithole, who was shot dead in a dramatic shoot-out with police here last Thursday, was wanted in connection with two cases of rape, one of attempted murder and seven armed robberies.
Sithole, aka Kedha, who was killed in a movie-style operation that lasted 14 hours at a house in Beitbridge’s Dulivhadzimu suburb on Thursday was a violent criminal, sources close to the case revealed yesterday.
They said Kedha was on the most wanted list in connection with the crimes he allegedly committed in Beitbridge, Mberengwa, and along highways to Harare and Bulawayo.
Chronicle was told that he launched his operations from Musina in South Africa and would most of the time skip the border through the Limpopo River.
In the attempted murder case committed three weeks ago, Kedha is said to have raped a woman and her child in Mberengwa before locking them in a house and setting it ablaze. The victims were saved by other villagers who put out the fire.
National Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said:
“The suspect has helped clear two cases of rape and attempted murder in Mberengwa and seven armed robberies that occurred around Beitbridge.
“However, we cannot give further details concerning the cases since we are pursuing his other accomplices.”
During the Thursday stand-off, Kedha shot and wounded a detective on the arm.
Before his demise, he had evaded arrest at the Limpopo River on Wednesday afternoon and hid at his rented house in Dulivhadzimu where he was found by detectives.
According to the police, Kedha was ordered to surrender but he turned violent, held 10 people at the house hostage and opened fire at police. Police tried to make him surrender but he kept firing until reinforcements were called in from the special tactics unit.
The team eventually killed him in the afternoon after he had released the hostages and continued shooting at the police officers.
After he was shot the police recovered a Black Star S.A Calsap Pistol loaded with six rounds, and a plastic paper containing loose dagga was found in his trousers pocket.
“A further search was conducted around and within the house leading to the recovery of 25 by 9mm spent cartridges.
“Another 105 and 25 cartridges shot from the police’s AK47 and FN rifles were also picked from the crime scene,” said a security source.
According to the source, the police established that Sithole had in his possession 50 live rounds before the start of the gun battle. The Chronicle.