Barbara Haines worked as a nurse at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital. Picture: Supplied
DURBAN - A Phoenix woman was gunned down by her partner, who then turned the gun on himself, in an apparent ­murder-suicide at their home on Sunday.

The couple’s two children, aged 2 and 6, were in the home at the time of the shootings and were not harmed.

Barbara Haines, 34, worked as a nurse at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital while her partner, Zane Smith, was self-employed.

Reaction Unit SA spokesperson Prem Balram said: “When we arrived, we found the woman in the kitchen. Her partner was found in the passage. Both had sustained gunshot wounds to the head,” he said.

Phoenix police are investigating a case of murder and an inquest docket has been opened.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo sent his condolences to the families of the deceased.

“We urge once more that there should be a better way to handle domestic disputes. We are really saddened by the loss of such a dedicated, hard-working nurse in one of our own facilities, and we ask for the family to be supported through prayers,” Dhlomo said.

The shooting comes less than a week after another murder-suicide in which a Durban court magistrate, Bongekile Ntenza and her three daughters Fekeza, Thabiso and Kwezi, were allegedly killed by the woman’s husband, Sandile Mkhize, in Montclair.

Also last week gqom queen Bongekile “Babes Wodumo” Simelane laid a charge of assault against her boyfriend, Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo, after the star released a live video on her Instagram showing a violent argument between them.

Maphumulo has laid a counter-charge against Simelane.

Provincial social development department spokesperson Ncumisa Fandesi said while it was a positive trend that more women were reporting abuse, incidents of gender-based violence still continued.

“The tragedy is the fact that it continues to happen, which means that men are ignoring the many messages directed to them,” she said.

Fandesi said women must leave abusive relationships before it was too late.

“Gender-based violence cases only end with one person in jail or one or both of those involved dead, so the best way is to leave,” she said.

- THE MERCURY