Woman shot dead during wrangle over water

Shonisisile “Hlo” Nxele was killed while fetching water. | SUPPLIED

Shonisisile “Hlo” Nxele was killed while fetching water. | SUPPLIED

Published Feb 4, 2024


Durban — The family of a caregiver from Phoenix who died following an argument over water supply on Monday hope her killer will be found.

Shonisisile “Hlo” Nxele, 48, from Brooksfarm, north of Durban, was shot by an unidentified man who demanded to jump the queue to obtain water first from a JoJo tank.

Nxele’s brother, Vusi Mkhabela, said she had just returned from a temporary job as a caregiver that evening and went to collect water from a communal JoJo tank that had been filled for residents.

“She came home and took some buckets to fill with water. When she got there, an unknown man arrived in a white vehicle with children inside and told the crowd that he would be first in line to fetch the water.

“The people declined his demands and told him to wait in line like the rest. He was infuriated. He fetched his gun from the car and fired multiple shots at the crowd. My sister tried to run away but she was hit by a bullet,” said Mkhabela.

He said that the JoJo tank was also riddled with bullet holes. He said that the family was struggling to come to terms with her death.

“We are not coping at all. My sister was in no way involved in the quarrel but she died because of something she had nothing to do with. To say that I am hurt would be an understatement.

“What hurts the most is that a day after her death a call came through on her phone to inform her that she had been accepted for a new permanent job, but unfortunately it was too late,” he said.

Mkhabela called on the police to leave no stone unturned until the suspect had been apprehended, and emphasised that the family had no plans of taking the law into their own hands.

According to area councillor Nonceba Tyelinzima, the suspect was allegedly from a different ward and was not at liberty to fetch the water from their section.

Tyelinzima said that the water challenge had been ongoing, but she was confident it would soon be resolved and called on community members to remain patient as the matter was being attended to.

Provincial police spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo confirmed the incident.

Nxele was laid to rest in Ntshongwe, in Umhlabuyalingana, on Saturday. She is survived by two children and two grandchildren.

Sunday Tribune