Scello Hlopo, left, and Sugan Chetty in happier times.
Durban - A Phoenix couple who had cared for a teenager as their own son, are devastated after he was fatally shot, in front of them, on Saturday morning.

Scello Hlopo, 19, sustained three gunshot wounds to the head, two to the chest and one near his genitals. He was shot outside the Sastri Park home of Sugan and Valerie Chetty and died en route to the local clinic.

Hours later, 37-year-old tow truck driver Junaid Bux Hoosen, who lives in the area, handed himself over to Phoenix police in connection with the matter.

He was subsequently charged with murder and appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Sugan Chetty, 28, a businessman, and his 27-year-old wife believe a dispute had sparked the killing.

“He was like a son to us. I cannot describe the pain we are going through. This does not feel real,” said Valerie, who is pregnant with her second child.

“Scello was well mannered and respectful. He would never harm anyone. We cannot believe he was so cruelly taken away from us. We are shattered. . . I hope the accused feels the full might of the law.”

The couple had taken Hlopo into their home when he was 12.

“When he was 9, he left his home in Pongola and moved to a township not far from my home to live with his sister. Sugan and I used to see him at a park in the area and a friendship developed.”

She said Hlopo had seen them take care of employees, who had worked at their tuckshop at the time, and wanted to stay with them as the others did.

“His sister approved and we ensured he would attend school. When he was old enough, he started helping us in our businesses.”

Hoosen was remanded in custody.