Maskandi artist Sjula Biyela, also known as “Iqhawe LakoMenziwa,” tragically lost his life in a confrontation with law enforcement officials. The incident occurred at Ntibane Lodge in Babanango, KZN, on the night of Saturday, February 10th.
Alongside Sjula, his brother Sihle Biyela and friends Bizokwakhe Sithole (52) and Lindani Ncanana (37) were also fatally injured during the exchange of gunfire.
Authorities from the Stabilization Operation Team in KZN were seeking the group in connection with multiple murder cases. Acting on intelligence, the police located the suspects at the lodge. Upon requesting entry, the suspects responded with gunfire, initiating a shootout with the police.
Colonel Robert Netshiunda, spokesperson for the KZN police, stated that the police operation was informed by intelligence on the suspects’ whereabouts. When confronted, the suspects fired shots from inside the lodge’s three chalets. In self-defense, the police returned fire, resulting in a fatal outcome for the suspects.
Despite the intense exchange, no law enforcement officers were harmed. However, four suspected hitmen, including Sjula, lost their lives at the scene. Additionally, cases of attempted murder against police officers were filed.
Quality Biyela, a family member and fellow maskandi artist, expressed shock at the allegations against his relatives. He refuted any prior involvement in criminal activities and emphasized that Sjula had recently visited his hometown of Ulundi from Johannesburg, where he resided.
Sjula, renowned in the maskandi music genre, had gained recognition for his albums such as “Ishumi Leminyaka,” “Amagwinya Ashisayo,” and “Yimi uNumber4.”