BROTHERS AMONG THE DEAD IN BIRTHDAY MASSACRE

By Anita Dangazele

A birthday celebration in the township of Kwazakhele in Gqeberha, turned deadly on Sunday afternoon when two gunmen stormed in and opened fire in the crowded room.

Vusumzi Sishuba had invited his friends over for his 50th birthday braai on Sunday clueless that it would be his last day on earth. He was shot dead along with seven others. A further three are fighting for their lives in hospital.

Vusumzi’s older brother Andile Sishuba had arrived earlier in the afternoon from East London to celebrate his brother’s milestone birthday. He was also killed when gunmen stormed the house.

The Sishuba brothers were pillars of their family, they were breadwinners who had worked hard to get their family out of poverty. The two brothers leave behind their mother who is now bedridden due to age, their two sisters and all their children who range between the ages of seven and 28.

Chinese Tys, one of the late brothers’ sisters, could not explain why they were killed.

“As a family we do not know anything, we only know that our brother was celebrating his 50th birthday celebration when his life was cut short.

“We understand that we’re not the only ones at a loss. Our brothers’ friends were present too. We would like to offer our condolences to their families as well. We can only hope the law will play its course,” she told Scrolla.Africa.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, along with national police commissioner, Lieutenant General Fannie Masemola, visited the family home where the shooting took place in Gqeberha on Monday.

Minister Cele, whilst addressing the media, asked the public to give police space to conduct their investigation without being deterred by speculation.

“Allow us to do the work, we would like to request a little space to do the work thoroughly, so that by the time we respond there’s no speculation, no guesswork,” he told journalists.

Police have launched a manhunt for the suspects while an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attack is underway. No arrests have been made.

DA provincial leader, Nqaba Bhanga, was also present, though not in his political capacity but as a friend and family member of the deceased.

“I’m not here as a politician, I am here because I lost my friends, niece and my nephew is currently fighting for his life in hospital,” he said.

“I am heartbroken because I could have been here, this could have been me. I am heartbroken that my friends had to die like this.”

Kwazakhele is part of the Govan Mbeki Cluster, a group of councils who have been fighting to get rid of violent crimes in Gqeberha townships.

Kwazakhele ward councillor Gamelihle Maqula said: “This is not the first time something like this has happened in our area. As councillors we’ve decided to raise this issue in the next council meeting, cameras must be installed on our streets, metro police must be visible, their scope must be expanded to reach townships,” he said.

Anyone who can assist in identifying some of the victims or tracing their next of kin is asked to contact Captain Sitole on 0834572812 or Crime stop on 086 00 10111.

Pictured above: Relatives sitting outside the house where the shooting took place.

Image source: Anita Dangazele

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