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Durban - Terrified residents of a Durban informal settlement ducked for cover on Sunday as gunmen went on a shooting spree, killing two people.
Two others were injured during the fracas.
One of the victims, Mzokhona Dlawu, 32, had followed the gunmen and bravely managed to disarm the one who had shot 19-year-old Sandile Dladla moments before at the Palmiet informal settlement in Clare Estate.
Dlawu, who had intended to hand the gun to police, then joined other residents at the roadside to wait for an ambulance, his sister-in-law, Nozuko Mantshule, said.
“One of the men took the gun from Dlawu’s waist and shot him. We scattered.”
Two others were wounded in the shooting, which took place in three areas of the settlement as the gunmen reportedly went looking for targeted people.
One of the survivors, Boy-boy Sphengane, told the Daily News that two of the gunmen had followed him in the settlement as he was heading to a tavern.
“I heard a gun cock and shots go off. I ran inside the tavern where I thought I would be safe. I was explaining to patrons what transpired when more shots rang out,” he said.
“I heard them (the gunmen) shouting, ‘we are looking for AmaMpondo’ (Eastern Cape clan). They said they had a list of all the people they wanted to shoot.”
Sphengane said he managed to dodge the fire but one of his friends standing next to him was shot in the foot.
The tavern owner, who requested anonymity as she feared for her life, said she heard gunshots and ran inside her room and shut the door.
A bullet ripped through the door and struck a cupboard in her room.
A second man was hit and was admitted to hospital.
Sphengane said the gunmen ran up a footpath where they shot Dladla, who had been standing outside a tuck shop.
Mthokozisi Mbhele, who was with Dladla, said they saw the men running up the pathway but did not think anything of it.
“They asked Dladla what he was carrying and then fired a shot. It was dark and all of a sudden I saw Dladla falling to the ground.”
Dladla was carried to the roadside by residents to wait for an ambulance. Dladla’s father, Dumisani Dladla, said that when he got to the roadside there was no one there.
“I saw three wounded people, including that of my son. A man was standing in the centre of the road holding a gun in his hand.
“I picked up my son and put him in a car. I didn’t care whether he was going to shoot me as well, but that was my son and I had to take him to the hospital,” said the devastated father.
Shocked residents gathered for a meeting later to discuss the shootings. They heard that the father of the man who shot Dlawu had handed his son over to the police.
Sydenham police spokes-man, Captain Myhen Lazarus, said cases of murder and attempted murder had been opened for investigation.