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Five people were shot dead and three others wounded when a man opened fire on them in a Lingelethu West tavern in Khayelitsha on Saturday night.
Emaplangeni, a tavern in Litha Park linked to SABC 2’s former Stokvel actor Ntobeko Rwanqa – who plays the part of Budget Naledi – was awash with blood after the eight patrons were shot.
When the Cape Argus visited the tavern on Sunday, Rwanqa refused to comment on the killings and threatened to destroy a Cape Argus photographer’s camera.
The dead include Mzandile “Zwai” Ngonzo, 27, an only son; Lwazi Daniels, 38, who was married with a son and daughter; and a man known to patrons only as Brigadier.
Provincial police confirmed that the attack had taken place on Saturday at about 10.30pm.
Colonel André Traut said the shooting had followed an argument among patrons.
Three of the victims died in the tavern and the other two died in hospital. The three wounded people are also in hospital.
Residents, who wanted to remain anonymous, said they heard shots and when they emerged from their homes into the street the scene was chaotic.
They said this was the second time gunmen had entered Rwanqa’s shebeen in a month. Last week there was an attempted robbery at the tavern.
Ngonzo’s shocked aunt, Nosipho Fuzile, said: “A man driving a bakkie came to our house shouting that we must come out, Zwai had been shot at Emaplangeni. His mother and I ran out to his car and jetted off to the scene, and we found Zwai lying dead in the doorway.”
Fuzile said although it was unclear what had happened, she was told by one of the witnesses that the gunman had a getaway car outside the tavern.
“The witness told us that as he was exiting the tavern he had crossed paths with the gunman, and a few minutes later he heard shots. He said the man came out soon after with his head covered in a hoodie, and got into a white car.”
The distraught aunt added: “Even if the perpetrator is not arrested God is going to deal with him, he will see. I am just heartbroken that my sister’s only child had to die that way.”
Daniels, 38, also died at the tavern. The father of three was said to have been sleeping when a friend – known only as Brigadier, who was also killed at the scene – came to fetch him to have drinks at the tavern.
“He doesn’t usually drink at that tavern,” said his son, Mthandeni Phutuma, 14.
“But on Saturday night he did and we’ll never see him again.”
Mohammad Hussain, who stayed at Daniels’s house, said he had gone to identify his landlord’s body.
“I jumped over other bodies in search of Lwazi and found him lying dead next to his friend Brigadier.”
Mthandeni said he would miss his father’s sense of humour.
“He was a jokey person and had a temper. The last time we spoke on Friday he had promised to take me shopping.
“I will really miss him,” sobbed the boy.
In a similar attack on Saturday last week, three people were killed and another three injured after a gang fired shots at the patrons at the Abesuthu tavern in Philippi around midnight, just before closing time.
Two weeks ago during the release of the annual crime statistics it was reported that alcohol fuelled the country’s high crime rate.
“Violent crimes are often associated with alcohol abuse, and we suspect that this could have been the case at this crime scene.
“The investigation will be prioritised so that we can apprehend the suspect as soon as possible.” said Traut.
No one has been arrested in either of the tavern shootings.