Durban — A woman was killed when a man allegedly opened fire on a crowd of people queuing for water in Brooks Farm, Phoenix, north of Durban, on Monday.
It is alleged that Shonisile Nxele, 48, was waiting to fill her water buckets from a truck with a water tank near her house when a fight erupted between some community members and a man who allegedly refused to join the queue. According to the community, the man allegedly went to his vehicle, fetched a firearm and then shot at them. A stray bullet struck Nxele in her chest.
The brother of the dead woman, Siyanda Nxele, said the family were still grieving.
“We are in disbelief and extremely hurt by the incident because my sister was not even involved in the quarrel, according to what I was told.
“I think it is time for eThekwini Municipality to sort out the problem of water shortage because the situation is getting worse. I believe if there was water in the area, my sister would be still alive,” said Siyanda.
Siyanda said no one was able to identify the man, who allegedly fled after realising that Nxele had died of her injuries.
Police spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo said Phoenix police are investigating a case of murder.
At a recent media briefing, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda outlined both short-term interventions and long-term strategies to ensure reliable water access for the city’s residents.
The mayor said one of the City’s main focus areas is to repair the 24km Southern Aqueduct within 12 months, at a cost of R1.2 billion. The project aims to improve water supply in areas in the Southern Region, including Chatsworth and uMlazi.
In the north, a fire-damaged pump station in Ntuzuma, operating at half capacity, is set for a R35-million upgrade. Kaunda said the recent rains also impacted water quality at Hazelmere Water Works, affecting areas like Waterloo and Ottawa.
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