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Sisters slain by dad buried in one grave

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THE STAR

Schoolmates of murdered siblings Chane, 18, and Mischke Nothnagel, 13, comfort each other at the girls funeral in Alberton. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg -

With tears running down her face, an inconsolable Linda Nothnagel stood under the blistering sun at the Florentia cemetery in Alberton, her gaze fixed on the grave in front of her.

In the grave were two coffins, one on top of the other.

One coffin contained the remains of 18-year-old Chane and the other 13-year-old sister Mischke – her two daughters, gunned down by their father Paul in Alberton last week.

As she stood at the graveside looking at the coffins, Linda was not only hurting inside.

She was also nursing pain from her thigh and hip, where Paul shot her after opening fire at her car.

nothnagel funeral

Linda Nothnagel looks into the grave of her daughters Chane and Mischke at Florentia cemetery in Alberton on Wednesday. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

THE STAR

After shooting his ex-wife and the girls, Paul casually walked to his car and shot himself in the head.

A framed photograph of Linda, Chane and Mischke was found next to his body.

During Chane and Mischke’s burial on Wednesday, there wasn’t a dry eye, and the weeping grew louder as the two coffins were slowly lowered into the grave.

The preacher who was praying as the coffins were lowered also broke down.

Among the mourners were Abram Moraba and Mikey Schultz, who had both helped after the shooting.

Moraba was on his way to work when he saw Paul come out from behind a tree and fire about 14 shots at his children and former wife.

Paralysed by shock and fear, Moraba had been unable to move.

After the shooting, the frightened Linda had tried to flee. Moraba restrained her, put her on the pavement and told her the shooter was gone.

Schultz was one of the people who arrived at the scene after the shooting.

Moraba lifted Chane from Linda’s car and put her in Schultz’s vehicle.

The tattooed hitman behind businessman Brett Kebble’s shooting then quickly drove to Mulbarton Hospital, but Chane died in Moraba’s arms.

Bernard Karusseit had left earlier with Mischke for Netcare Union Hospital, but she also died on the way.

On Wednesday, Schultz said he had driven as fast as he could, but Chane had been shot many times.

“We tried. It took me three minutes from the scene to the hospital. Faster than that I could not have gone. Unfortunately she had taken too much fire.”

Moraba was also at the funeral to bid the girls goodbye, and after their coffins were lowered, he threw petals in their grave.

After the burial, family members went to Moraba and Schultz to thank them.

Linda hugged Moraba.

With a desperate look on her face, she asked Moraba what her children’s last words were.

“They just cried ‘momma, momma’,” he told her.

While attending the funeral helped him to deal with what he witnessed, Moraba said he was also being plagued by feelings of guilt.

“I keep asking myself ‘what if I had done something to stop him (Paul)? What if I had hit him with a rock?’

“I tried my best in helping Chane, and failed, hence I needed to go to the funeral for closure. I witnessed a terrible thing and I don’t think I’ll be the same again,” the 32-year-old man said.

botho.molosankwe@inl.co.za

The Star


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