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Police nab six over murder of S’African footballer

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No fewer than six people were arrested on Wednesday by the South African police over the murder of footballer Luke Fleurs, who played for popular Johannesburg club Kaizer Chiefs.

The 24-year-old defender was shot dead last week as he refilled his car at a gas station in a northwestern suburb of the city, in the latest incident to shock the crime-ridden nation.

“Police have arrested six suspects for the alleged hijacking and murder,” police spokesman Mavela Masondo (SAPS) said.

According to authorities, Fleurs was waiting for service at a petrol station in his Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI when he was attacked by two guys who forced him out of the vehicle at gunpoint. When he stepped out of his car, they shot him before driving away.

Masondo said the arrests were made on Wednesday in Johannesburg’s southwestern district of Soweto, two days after officers found Fleurs’ car.

Investigators believe the suspects are part of a crime ring that has carried out numerous auto hijackings in Johannesburg’s Gauteng province.

“The search for more suspects is continuing,” Masondo said.

South Africa’s violent crime rate is skyrocketing, making it a critical political issue ahead of the May general elections, with opposition parties blaming the government for perceived failure.

According to government estimates, the country averaged nearly 84 homicides per day between October and December.

Kaizer Chiefs are one of South Africa’s best teams, having won a record 53 domestic titles.

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