These were the harrowing last few minutes that Mandla Hlatshwayo’s partner* was able to spend with her lover, a former Generations actor and current Jozi FM DJ.
Hlatshwayo was gunned down, along with Oupa “Chom Chom” Duma, by four armed robbers at Meli’s Lounge in Pimville, Soweto, on Sunday night.
The young woman witnessed the killing and held her lover’s hand as he took his final breath.
According to the 27-year-old, Hlatshwayo was shot after trying to protect two women who entered the pub, saying they were under attack by some young men with a gun.
“So Mandla got up from where we were sitting and went out to help the ladies,” she said.
“I didn’t see anything, I just heard the gunshots. When I ran outside to see what happened, I saw his friend lying in front of the door and Mandla a couple of metres away,” she said.
Describing Hlatshwayo’s final hours before the confrontation, she told The Star that he was very happy and excited for no apparent reason.
“I asked him why he was so happy and he said he wanted to be with all his friends,” she said.
“Sunday was the day he met my mother, and she said to me: ‘I like this boy’. Only to find out that he would later die. I will miss everything about him, especially his smile,” she said.
Family members were in shock and hysterical after finding out about the killing.
Hlatshwayo’s family spokesperson and close friend, Daddy Motswagae, told The Star that the family were still in shock following the sudden death. “Just like any other family, it is hard to lose a son or a family member. No one can accept it. They are not taking it well. Family, friends and community members are still in shock,” said Motswagae.
It was Hlatshwayo’s mother, Phindile, who had to identify her son’s body. According to Motswagae, the grieving mother was hysterical with emotion as her son’s friends visited throughout Monday.
“Mandla was like a pillar in the family. He was a family person who did everything with his siblings. He had two brothers and a sister,” said Motswagae.
Hlatshwayo fathered five children, the eldest being 19 and the youngest just seven months old, according to Motswagae.
Police spokesperson Colonel Hitler Ngwenya said: “A case of murder and robbery has been opened. No one has been arrested and we are still investigating.”
Funeral arrangements have not been confirmed yet. “Everyone is still getting together,” said Motswagae.
* Identity withheld at her request