DURBAN - A recent mass killing incident where six people were gunned down at Amaoti in Inanda outside Durban has been described as an “execution-style revenge ploy” between known nemeses in the area.
This was revealed by community members and relatives of the slain youths on Monday.
Wandile Fanaphi, 17, Qhaphelani Mkhovu, 20, Mlondi Getane, 22, Mlondi Kunene, 25, Lindo Sphambo, 22, and Philip Hinsa were gunned down execution-style in what police described as a suspected drug-related shooting.
Fanaphi and Nkovu had just begun their matric year on Monday last week. In the incident, the police reported that three people arrived at a tuck shop in the Amaoti area opening fire at a group of men seated behind the tuckshop.
At that time, provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said: “Information gathered from the scene indicates that the deceased were seated behind the tuck shop, consuming drugs and that the attack might be drug-related.”
However, the community members who spoke to the Daily News, on condition of anonymity, said it was a revenge killing after the death of a local business owner.
One community member said: “There was a robbery in a nearby tavern last year, which went horribly wrong. Three of the slain boys were alleged to have also murdered the owner of the bottle store, during a scuffle when they robbed the place.”
He added that it was not true that the mass murder was drug-related, but some of the murdered boys happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It was too painful to witness especially after hearing the first few gunshots and seeing the men come out of their vehicle to finish off the job execution-style,” the community member said.
Adding that they feared for the safety of their children in the area. “We cannot even protest this kind of criminality because we will be singled out and killed,” the community member said.
A family member who also refused to be named for fear of his life, said they were shocked by the extent of cruelty in the killing of innocent children.
“Our child has never been involved in any drugs, as a parent you can tell when a child is involved in drugs because they start having money for things they could not afford before, and our son was not like that. What happened to our children is unforgivable, and the most cruel thing a person can do to a parent,” said the family member.
In a separate incident, Svuyile Khonjwayo, 30, was gunned down in a similar manner five minutes away from the location of the incident. His relative said the same car model was described to have been the perpetrators’ getaway vehicle.
“Just as we heard gunshots coming from the main road we received a phone call informing us that Svuyile had been shot in Phoenix by men who were in a silver grey car, and fled the scene.
“We were shocked because we had just heard gunshots. When we came from Phoenix, people told us that men in a silver grey car had shot the boys at the tuck shop.
“The suspicion amongst ourselves is that the killings are linked as Svuyile was friends with the slain boys, but what is confusing is that he was not into drugs and had recently rehabilitated from alcohol,” said the relative.