Bongeka Phungula and Popi Qwabe were killed in Soweto in May. Six months later, their families are still trying to deal with their deaths. Picture: Facebook
Johannesburg - More than six months ago, best friends Popi Qwabe and Bongeka Phungula were brutally murdered in Soweto.

To date, their families are still dealing with their gruesome murders on May 12 while the court case against two taxi men drags on in court.

For their relatives, it has been a long and unbearable journey.

Popi’s mother Nomsa Ngwenya said she still could not believe her daughter was dead.

“I am so broken. I do not know if I will ever find healing and peace,” a weeping Ngwenya told The Star.

“I hope and want her killers to be found and punished for what they did. Maybe I will find healing if I heard them say why they killed them (Popi and Bongeka).

“I want to ask her killers questions. I will ask them what did she ever do to you?” Ngwenya said.

Popi, 24, and 28-year-old Bongeka, a mother of one, were killed on May 12 after they had boarded a taxi to Maponya Mall in Klipspruit. They lived together in Naledi.

Their bodies and those of two other women were found in different areas over that weekend, highlighting the high number of cases of femicide in the country.

Their murders came after the death of Karabo Mokoena, 22, who was killed, allegedly by her boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe, 27, in April.

Mantsoe allegedly necklaced Mokoena and poured acid over her, and she was burnt beyond recognition.

Bongeka’s grandmother Kate Phungula said she raised her like her daughter.

“Her mother passed away when she was young, and I raised her,” she said.

Unaware that Thursday was her (Kate’s) birthday, she told The Star that she was hurting.

“Bongeka is the one who would make sure that my birthday was celebrated. I am lost for words.

“If today is the 30th of November, then it is my birthday It has been hard to deal with her death,” said Phungula.

She said Bongeka’s 13-year-old daughter, Mininhle, was struggling to cope.

“She cannot get a lot of things that her mother used to give her. I am a pensioner. I cannot afford to do a lot of things for her. She has been going to school but we are waiting for her results to see if she will progress to Grade 9 or not,” Phungula said.

Ngwenya and Phungula, who both live in KwaZulu-Natal, said the court case was causing strain.

The taxi men, Alec “Magawula” Mamothame, 43, and Sandile Ndlovu, 25, face charges of murder in the Protea Magistrate’s Court.

They were granted bail after magistrate Herman Badenhorst said the State’s case was “weak”.

The case will resume next month. “I come all the way to Joburg only for the case to be postponed.

“I have no knowledge about how courts work and wish someone could explain things to me.

“I just want justice for my daughter.

“She was killed and someone has to be punished for the crime,” Ngwenya said.

Phungula said she was told she should come to Joburg when the case goes to trial.

“I have never seen the men accused of my child’s murder. I do not know what will happen when I see them,” said Phungula.

The Star