“We’re coming for you with guns.”

This stern warning was issued yesterday by Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza to the killers of chief Linda Mathonsi, who was gunned down near a library at Sundumbili township in Mandini, less than a kilometre from his homestead in northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Monday.

 His killers are believed to have followed him from the Mandini shopping mall, where he had gone to fetch his daughter, Nonkululeko “Popo” Mathonsi.

Ntlemeza seemed unshaken yesterday by the call for his removal as head of the Hawks by lobby groups Freedom Under Law and The Helen Suzman Foundation as he addressed the slain chief’s family and mourners at his homestead.

The two groups say in court papers that police minister Nathi Nhleko’s decision to appoint Ntlemeza was irrational as there were two High Court judgments that said he lacked integrity and was dishonest.

“I am appealing to [the chief’s] killers to hand themselves over because we are the police and we are not going to look for them empty-handed, as they also killed with a gun,” Ntlemeza warned. “The police are also going to hunt them with guns.

“This person must hand himself over before the end of this week. If they do not hand themselves over, the Hawks and the police are hunting for them as I speak. It’s better for him or them to hand themselves over before this Saturday.”

He said a task team involving the Hawks and the police had been established to hunt for Mathonsi’s killers.

Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders, said King Goodwill Zwelithini had expressed shock at Mathonsi’s killing as he was one of the most trusted traditional leaders in the royal family.