A suspected crime mastermind with alleged links to a series of mass shootings in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape has been arrested and charged in Cape Town. Police said Yanga Nyalara, 30, faces 31 charges, including 18 counts of murder, attempted murder and drug trafficking.
His arrest was hailed as a breakthrough in the police’s fight against crime in the village.
Last month, police issued a 100,000 rand reward for information leading to the arrest of Nyalara, also known as Barra. He was wanted for a series of violent crimes in Khayelitsha, allegedly dating back to at least 2016.
He faced multiple murder, attempted murder, drugs and firearms charges in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on Monday.
These include a mass killing incident in Khayelitsha over a bloody weekend last May in which at least twelve people were killed.
“He also jumped bail in the Eastern Cape involved in CIT (cash in transit) so it seems the man is a man about town and I think the police have done a really good job which I guess will take us some distance in trying to fight with the crime around this place,” says Police Minister Becky Chele.
Sele says Nyalara’s arrest in Botasig at the weekend could be a breakthrough in the extortion activity plaguing the town of Kayelitsa and surrounding communities.
“He runs about eight taxis; he is a teacher by profession, 30 years old, deals in drug business, participates in CIT,” Chele adds.
Western Cape Police Commissioner Thembisile Patekile says the accused has decided to refuse bail.
“It’s actually a shame that he turned down bail because we would have liked to oppose his release but it’s up to him, he has the right to apply at any time during that time but he chose not to.” “
In June, four people were killed when a gunman opened fire in Khayelitsha: