Families live in fear after drug den massacre
Share this article:
Durban – The families of six people who were gunned down in a suspected whoonga den say they are too scared to receive mourners after dark.
“After the funeral, we are going to pack up this house and lock it up. None of us will ever feel safe here,” said Nomvula Dubanzana, the mother of one of the deceased.
Her 20-year-old daughter Hlengiwe was shot dead on Friday night with her uncles Siphelele Kubheka, 37, and Siyanda Kubheka, 26, and friends Nonhlanhla Mbhele, 22, Siphamandla Mavundla, 27, and Mcebisi Gondo, 29.
The sole survivor of the massacre in the Kubheka home in Georgedale near Hammarsdale was Bongani Ntuli, 29. He is in a critical condition in hospital.
Dubanzana on Tuesday said they collected the washing and gathered everything else from outside at dusk so that by the time it was dark, they were safely inside.
She said they barely slept, twitching at every noise they hear outside. “When the dogs bark or we hear a noise, we wonder if we are going to be killed,” she said.
She has appealed for police protection at the funeral. “After that, while the people who killed these children are still out there, we will lock up and leave.”
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said protection would have to be requested from the local police station.
Otherwise, police escorted funerals only where they felt there was a threat to the safety and security of the mourners and community.
Ritta Kubheka spoke candidly about her son’s whoonga dealing to The Mercury’s sister paper, the Sunday Tribune.
Police had also found the drug in the home and confirmed that Siphelele had a pending case of drug dealing and housebreaking.
A relative, who did not want to be named, said everyone knew the shooting was due to rivalry over drug dealing.
Dubanzana believed this was the reason why there had been no arrests.
“Whatever they did or didn’t do doesn’t make them less human. My child lived here to be close to the train to go to school in Durban, as I struggled to give her taxi fare from home. She was about to finish and have a life, a good life, and raise her daughter. She didn’t deserve to die like this,” she said.
Senior provincial leaders of Cosatu and the SACP visited the families of the deceased on Tuesday.
Cosatu provincial secretary Edwin Mkhize said they were there to support the families, regardless of the circumstances leading to the killings.
He promised to look into assisting the families with counselling, particularly those who had witnessed the aftermath of the shooting.
One of the first on the scene was Themba Gondo, Mcebisi’s father. He said he had no confidence in the Hammarsdale police.
“I will bury my son and that will be it, nothing will come of this. I haven’t even heard from the police since,” he said.
He was relieved to hear that the provincial police task team was investigating.
Nomarashiya Caluza was also there in her capacity as SACP provincial treasurer. She pledged to follow up to ensure the police actively investigated the case.
“I know you will not find peace in your hearts if you don’t know what happened, and you will only know what happened if the killers are caught.”