Hitmen terrorise business forum

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By Everson Luhanga

Members of the Ratanda Spaza Business Forum in Gauteng are under attack and have gone into hiding to escape the assassins who have killed four of their members in just over a month.

Four of the forum’s eight committee members have been gunned down since the committee was established at a meeting on 7 February. 

The most recent victim is Happy Nyauzaza, who died on Friday last week in his spaza shop in Ratanda, south of Heidelberg in Gauteng. The hitmen had bought R40 airtime from him and when Happy told them that the money was R3 short, he was shot dead.

Nkosinathi Phillip Etienne Ngondo was visiting Happy and tried to stop the gunmen but it cost him his life — the hitmen turned on him and he was also killed.

A woman working for Happy in the spaza was also shot but discharged after she was treated in hospital.

At the time of his death, Happy was busy preparing for Mandla Daniel Moqoqoi’s funeral. 

Mandla was a local spaza shop owner and a member of the forum. He died on 23 February after being shot several times.

One of the forum leaders, speaking anonymously, said he is also on the hit list and has received death threats.

He told Scrolla.Africa that the men who murdered Mandla came to his house with cordless angle grinders.

“The men started by cutting the main gate to get entry. They then cut the burglar-proofing before they proceeded to Mandla’s main bedroom. They found Mandla’s terrified wife and children and threatened them that they would all die if they didn’t show them where Mandla was,” the leader said. 

“By that time, Mandla was hiding in a backyard room calling for backup from the authorities and community members.”

When Mandla opened the door he was met with a hail of bullets. He was shot 13 times and died on the scene. His wife and the children were not physically harmed.

The fourth member of the forum committee, Moeketsi Mollo, was shot dead in Ratanda extension 23.

Ratanda residents and those from surrounding townships are determined to close down foreign-owned spaza shops. 

When KwaThema residents hired a crane last month to physically remove the container shops, hitmen struck and murdered the crane driver.

Pictured above: Nkosinathi Phillip Etienne Ngondo, Mandla Daniel Moqoqoi, Moeketsi Mollo and Happy Nyauzaza have all been killed. 

Image source: Supplied


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