Families share their pain

Simphiwe Mdidimba, left, who lost his daughter, stands next to ward councillor Rhoda Bazier while Mayor Dan Plato, addresses the families.

The community of Lower
Philippi is still in shock
after the brutal killing of six young women, aged between 15 and 26.

Two of them had been sitting inside a shack while others had been inside an RDP house on the same property in Marcus Garvey.

The women each sustained numerous gunshot wounds to the head.

In separate incidents, that same week, five men were also killed in the area.

When Vukani arrived at the scene where the women were killed, last Friday, families, friends and Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato were gathered there.

Among the six women who were shot were Nomthandazo Nomgcana, Gcobisa Mthayiya, Sisipho Mdidimba and Queen Williams. Police said the other two had not yet been identified and that the motive was still unknown.

Nomthandazo’s father, Mbulelo Nomgcana, said he had visited the house around 10pm to check up on his daughter and her friends.

Shortly afterwards, he was informed about the shooting and rushed back to the house where he saw blood seeping from under the door.

When he opened the door, he said, he saw the lifeless body of his daughter in a pool of blood, with multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

Unable to contain his emotions, he closed his eyes to block out the sight of his dead daughter.

He rushed to the main house where he discovered the bodies of four other women who had also been shot in the head.

“I just did not know what do. No parent wants to lose a child like that,” he said.

“I can’t erase what I saw that day. I just don’t know who would want to kill women in that way. It seems that the killers had hatred against them.”

The distraught father added: “I wish the government could assist us in getting the body from the state mortuary. I will bury my daughter in the Eastern Cape.”

Mr Nomgcana said the family was battling to come to terms with his daughter’s death and pleaded with anyone who could, to help them bury their child.

He said the owner of the house usually went to church on a Friday night and would ask his daughter to sleep over at her place with her daughter – so it was not unusual for his daughter to spend time at the house.

Queen’s grandmother, Mandisa Mkhalipha, said they too were struggling to come to terms with the shooting and to cover the costs of the funeral, which they planned to have in Cape Town.

She called on police to act swiftly in apprehending the killers. “My heart is sore. Every time I think about this, tears just fall from eyes. I just don’t know what to say about this. I can’t believe that my granddaughter has been killed for no reason,” she said.

Spokesman for Philippi East police station, Captain Bheki Xulu confirmed that six women had been killed and that they had been shot on the head repeatedly, execution style.

He said no arrests had been made and a murder docket has been opened.

Mr Plato had harsh words for the perpetrators who, he said, did not deserve to live with other human beings. He added that the City would find a way to help the affected families and urged the community to come forward with any information that might assist in arresting the killers.

Captain Xulu said police were still gathering more information relating to the other incidents in which five men were killed.