Two Port Elizabeth men shot in gang hit in East London

JUNE 17, 2015

Two men from Port Elizabeth were reportedly shot dead outside a popular East London nightclub early morning on Tuesday in what police believe to be a gang hit as the city’s rival card cloning syndicates battle for turf.

Siyabonga Speelman, 32, was shot in the head and face, while his companion, Sinethemba Solomon, 31, was shot in the chest.

The men were believed to be looking for parking outside Bar Kulcha in Frere Road, Vincent, when they were shot in their hired white Hyundai i20.

They were taken to Frere Hospital but were pronounced dead on arrival.

While Police spokesman Captain Mluleki Mbi said they were not clear on the motive behind the shooting, an officer on the scene told the Daily Dispatch he suspected the shooting involved a rival card cloning syndicate getting rid of its competition.

According to eyewitness Mailo Maqhina, the shooting occurred in a poorly lit stretch of road as the two victims were looking for parking.

Maqhina, who was outside the nightclub selling loose cigarettes, told the paper that he saw a grey Avanza come to a stop before two men got out of the vehicle and approached the victims’ car.

“One guy with a gun went to the driver’s side and the other guy went to the passenger side. They shot simultaneously,” said Maqhina.

“After a few seconds the gunmen jumped into a  white Nissan Micra, which pulled up and fled the scene down Frere Road in the direction of Southernwood.”

He said the Avanza also drove off.

Bar Kulcha owner Xhasumzi Bacela told the paper that he was not aware if the victims had earlier been in the club or if they were just arriving.

“I came out at a time when everything had already happened. It is a regrettable occurrence, one that dampens the nightlife of East London,” Bacela said.

When the police and ambulance took long to respond, a witness said he moved Solomon – with bullet wounds in the head and face – into the back seat of the i20 and climbed into the driver’s seat and drove to the hospital were both men were declared dead on arrival.

Police are investigating.