“I do not think I can explain the hurt my family are feeling right now,” said Khombisile Mhlongo, the dead woman’s sister.
Khombisile said Dawny was outgoing and got on with everyone.
“She was honest, for ever full of joy and loved to laugh. She dealt with beauty and was into fashion designing,” she said.
A graduate of the Carlton Hair Academy, Mhlongo ran a salon in Durban North.
Snenhlanhla Cebekhulu, her cousin, said: “We grew up together and she was the person I was closest to in the family. We were always laughing, and our voices were similar.”
Cebekhulu said Mhlongo had dreamt of starting her own beauty consulting company, which would have been called Dawny Beauty.
“She did my make-up for my wedding and she was super talented. I was helping her with finalising contracts for her consultancy business, but we never got around to completing them,” she said.
According to Khombisile, the family realised Mhlongo was missing last Thursday when they were told she had not shown up for work.
“We got worried and started calling people. My sister said she last saw her getting into an Uber the previous day after work.”
Uber support said in a tweet they took the matter “very seriously” and would investigate.
Mhlongo’s body was found by the police in a field in Isipingo the day she went missing, but her family only learnt of the discovery on Monday.
Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said Mhlongo had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body.
“We suspect she was murdered somewhere else and then her body was dumped in Isipingo,” Zwane said.
A case of murder has been opened.
Her funeral will be held in Ntuzuma on Saturday.
She leaves behind a five-year-old daughter.