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KZN man pleads guilty to opening fire on family after his gran’s funeral over blanket row

Published Nov 16, 2022


Durban - A 26-year-old KwaZulu-Natal man who opened fire on his family after his grandmother’s funeral, killing one person, has pleaded guilty.

Lwazi Siyabonga Qwabe plead guilty in the Pietermaritzburg High Court this week to the murder of his cousin, Phelelani Qwabe.

According to the State indictments, Qwabe’s family had gathered on August 20, 2022, after their grandmother’s funeral in the Nkanini area, in Eshowe.

The family had gathered to divide blankets they had received from mourners who attended the funeral.

Qwabe’s father allegedly took more blankets than other members of the family, and an argument ensued.

In his guilty plea this week, handed to the court by attorney Advocate Pauline Andrews, Qwabe said he began arguing with his aunt, Bonisiwe Mtenga.

“I was very angry that she insulted my father. A fight nearly broke out between me and some of my family members.”

Qwabe said he left and went to his father’s homestead.

“I was very angry and out of control. I returned to my family homestead with a firearm.

“I moved to the window of my family homestead and fired several shots through the rondavel window, aiming at my aunt, Bonisiwe.”

Qwabe said the person he killed, Phelelani, was standing behind Bonisiwe.

He was shot several times. And according to post-mortem results, he died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

“After firing several shots, I saw the deceased fall to the ground.”

Qwabe said he knew he could injure or kill other family members by firing several shots inside the rondavel, although he was aiming the firearm at his aunt Bonisiwe.

Two days after the killing, Qwabe said he handed himself over to police along with the firearm and ammunition.

In addition to murder, Qwabe was found guilty of five counts of attempted murder.

Qwable said he was truly remorseful for his actions and pleaded with the court to show mercy when considering a sentence.

Acting Judge Eric Zaca is expected to sentence Qwabe later this week.