Nguni Hostel turned into killing field

Leaders of Sanco Sechaba Mathunjwa (red top), the organisation's zonal chairperson Albert Sibiya (yellow shirt) and the head of the Vosloorus SAPS, Brigadier Themba Denge, shortly before he signed a memorandum of grievances presented by protesters.

Some sources, speaking in hushed tones, revealed that some of the murders may be linked to the ongoing “hired gunmen” killings currently taking place in hostels and other parts of KZN. They told Kathorus MAIL that such killings are not easy to investigate because of the intricate crime network under which “hired killers” operate.

Meanwhile, in the past two months alone, two other people have been shot and killed by unknown armed men inside the Nguni Section hostel in Vosloorus.

Mma Buthelize a local seamstress and bed manufacturer, says she is one of the oldest residents at the Nguni Hostel and she has seen very little improvement despite promises of development by politicians. She said the crime and grime at the hostel has reduced them to animals.

The first victim, a young mother, Masisi Zungu, was shot and killed by an unknown gunman while walking a friend home at the beginning of September. The killer is alleged to have approached the two women and demanded their cellphones. When Masisi said she had left hers in her room, he simply raised his firearm and pumped several bullets into her body before fleeing the scene.

Her friend was left stunned and shocked, but she summoned the strength to run to Masisi’s room to report the matter.

Rumour circulating around the hostel is that Masisi might have been a witness to a robbery in which a Chinese Fah-Fee operator was robbed of a substantial amount of money as he drove into the hostel a week before Masisi was killed. It is suspected that she may have recognised one of the robbers, who then decided to come back and finish her off.

Then, barely three weeks later, on Thursday, October 19, i-Nduna Bernard Zungu (not related) was ambushed by a young armed gunman outside his room in G-Section and shot several times. Once again, the killer fled the scene and disappeared from the hostel complex.

Zungu was reportedly confronted by a lone armed killer outside his room in broad daylight. And when the injured Zungu tried to flee his attacker, the gunman pursued him into an adjacent building. He fell, and the killer shot him again a number of times as if to make sure he was dead. The shooter then fled the scene.

The Vosloorus branch members and supporters of Sanco as well as residents of the Nguni Section hostel in Vosloorus came out in large numbers to support a consumer protest march on September 22.

Just before Masisi Zungu’s murder, hostel residents joined a march organised by the Vosloorus branch of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco). The protest march was about community grievances against the local SAPS, Eskom, allegations against a popular local food store, the Ekurhuleni municipality and the local Thelle Mogoerane Hospital.

Sechaba Mathunjwa handed over the memorandums to the representatives of the various parties on behalf of the residents of Vosloorus and the Nguni hostel dwellers. (See story “Why we embarked on protest march” in the next issue of Kathorus MAIL).

Handing a memorandum over to the head of the of SAPS in Voloorus during the march, Mathunjwa urged the police to heed the grievances of all communities in Vosloorus, especially hostel residents.

Sanco’s zonal chairperson Albert Sibiya told Kathorus MAIL that the civic organisation viewed the residents’ complaints in a serious light.

“It happens far too often,” said i-Nduna Sibiya, who added that some criminals just walk through the hostel and shoot their victims at will and without fear. “From there on they simply walk away and disappear in this maze,” i-Nduna Sibiya lamented.

Approached for comment, Captain Piet Rossouw of the Vosloorus SAPS assured the community of Nguni Hostel that the crime that takes place around the hostel was not linked to gangs.

“We are in constant contact with the members of the Vosloorus society as well as the hostels. We always have round-table sessions with them where crime and other issues are raised,” explained Rossouw.

 

  AUTHOR
Zaid Khumalo

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