Gayton McKenzie nails gang kingpin

Gayton McKenzie, right, holds a man suspected of committing armed robbery. Picture: Supplied

Gayton McKenzie, right, holds a man suspected of committing armed robbery. Picture: Supplied

Businessman Gayton McKenzie used his experience as a former general of the 26 gang to apprehend a leader of Madrid, said to be a notorious hijack syndicate in Joburg.

McKenzie said the kingpin, known as Devil in the streets of Johannesburg, and his gun-toting cronies allegedly pounced on Christians from different denominations in the middle of a prayer meeting at a house in Midrand on Wednesday night and robbed them off cellphones, computers, jewellery, passports and driver’s licences.

They fled the scene with a BMW-5 Series luxury car. However, little did they know that one of their victims was a friend of McKenzie. Aggrieved by what had happened, McKenzie assured his friend, a lawyer, he would do everything in his power to recover what they had lost.

McKenzie mobilised his friends and combed the Joburg streets for the ruffians. The gang’s top dog was quickly apprehended. Describing the incident, McKenzie said that upon arrival at the syndicate’s hideout, a house in Bramley, the BMW’s number plates had already been changed.

McKenzie said Devil, the alleged mastermind behind a number of hijackings around Joburg, tried to flee in a car. But, understanding how gang generals operate, McKenzie chased and cornered him. But it seemed the thug was not willing to go down without a fight and a struggle ensued.

McKenzie was proud to say he overpowered the gangster, who eventually surrendered. He said the police were called to the scene and the man was arrested. Many number plates from vehicles that had apparently been hijacked were found at the premises where Devil had been hiding.

However, Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mashadi Selepe was unable to shed any light on the incident. “This office has made several enquiries, but without any success,” Selepe told The Citizen. “Therefore, no information is available at this stage to reply to your request.”

The Citizen contacted Midrand police who were unable to confirm the arrest. McKenzie said even though his friend was excited to have his BMW back, he was traumatised.

Reflecting on the incident and the anguish his friend was going through, McKenzie said it “dawned on him” that his previous victims, when he was a gang general, not only parted with their money, but suffered emotional trauma after the attacks.

He urged South Africans to work hand in hand with the police to curb crime. Crime, said McKenzie, was not an issue that needed to be addressed only by the police department because it affected everyone.

McKenzie pleaded with South Africans not to blame the government for the scourge of crime in the country, but to take action.


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