“All right, gentlemen, here’s the plan,” said Lieutenant Jobela to his fellow police officers at the Edo-Mill police station, outlining the strategy for capturing the Grizzly Bears.
“The only way to catch these bastards is if we split up. We don’t know The Standings area well. Over there, there are no fences. I want back-up all around the shack. We can’t leave any gaps for the gangsters to escape.“
“Yes! Definitely, Lieutenant. Yes!” replied the police officers who had been chosen for the task and assembled as a group inside the office.
“Now here’s how it goes,” said Lieutenant Jobela hastily. “Banjo, you’ll be on guard from the front and, Madlebe, you’ll take cover from the back of the shack. Raffael, you take cover from the right side and Khandiza you’ll stay put on the left.
“Remember we cannot mess up this one, gentlemen – it will all depend on how cautious and certain we go about it. I, Sergeant Daliwe and Socawe will be armed. Remember, when we approach the front door, you must close in behind us. We need to catch them off guard.”
Lieutenant Jobela, Sergeant Daliwe, Khandiza, Socawe, Madlebe, Raffael and Banjo put on their black bulletproof vests and grabbed their guns. Then they climbed into their vehicles.They looked like they were going to war.
There were no police sirens to alert the criminals as they entered Zone 5.
“Sergeant Daliwe speaking! Sergeant Daliwe speaking!” called the sergeant over the speaker phone as all three vehicles made a left turn into the main tar road near The Standings.
Sergeant Daliwe pointed out the two-room shack on the left-hand side of the road as the police parked their vehicles a distance from it.
Just as planned, Raffael took cover on the right side of the shack; Khandiza was also present and heavily armed on the left side of the shack; Banjo faced the front door of the shack, and Madlebe took cover at the back.
Lieutenant Jobela and Sergeant Daliwe, accompanied by Socawe as back-up, walked towards the front door of the shack, pointing their guns directly at the front door. There was no front window in the shack, but the sunroof wwas open.
Although the front door was closed, all of the gang members were inside. Bra Biza had thought it was a clever idea to lock the door while they were lying low to avoid being captured.
Inside the shack, kwaito was playing loudly, which to someone listening from the outside, sounded like the gang were having some kind of celebration party.
The police had been lucky to arrive when the members of the group were drunk and high. Right on the doorstep, Lieutenant Jobela held his 9mm pistol firmly with both hands as it pointed at the door and turned around to Sergeant Daliwe and Socawe as he whispered a countdown: “Three, two, one …”
Lieutenant Jobela raised his right foot, and kicked the door down.
“Everybody freeze! I said, everybody freeze!” cried Lieutenant Jobela.
“Hey! One move and you’re gone, I swear!” Sergeant Daliwe lashed out as he stood on the fallen door pointing his pistol at the gang members.
The shack was silent; the Hi-Fi system had been crushed by the wooden door as it fell. The members froze in a confused state when the police barged in. Not in a million years did they think they would be arrested in such a way – and so soon.
Bra Biza and Vinnie were both caught standing.
“What the hell is this? What the hell is this?” was the only response Bra Biza could give, trying to act innocent.
“You are all under arrest for the recent murders in Edo-Mill,” replied Lieutenant Jobela as he handcuffed Bra Biza, with Sergeant Daliwe getting a firm grip on Vinnie as the back-up came in to handcuff the rest of the gang.
“Hey, man! We’ve got rights,” Bhunga said furiously.
“Aaah! You twisting my bloody arms. You can’t just gate crash here in our place for no reason. You’ll pay for this, you’ll see. I’ve got rights, man!”
“Shut up, you bloody fool,” Socawe shouted unapologetically as he pushed Bhunga and he stumbled outside the shack.
Max and Jaman were less aggressive. Both kept still and did not bother to say a word, but just followed orders when Raffael and Khandiza handcuffed them.
“At least these two aren’t shouting,” said Khandiza.
Dladla, on the other hand, was on the same rebellious trip as Bhunga.
“Lock me up and I’ll see you in hell, you got that?” Dladla rebuked Madlebe as he was being escorted out. “All of you are nothing. You are just good-for-nothing, foolish boys in blue uniforms.”
People were standing at a distance from the shack as the gang members were led out and into the back of the police vans.
“Ja! Ezi zinja, pieces of rubbish!” shouted one of the residents.
“You deserve to rot in jail! At least we’ll get to sleep well now, knowing you’re locked up for life. Ja! Take them away, officer – they must go away for good. We don’t ever want those dogs near our children and our community ever again,” shouted another.
The police vans roared off, leaving the dusty township, and the residents talking about the arrests.