Four killed in Philippi

Shattered family members of the killed struggle to share their story of those who were gunned down by unknown assailants. From left, Boniwe Gwadiso, Lindelo Dyubhele and Nobuhle Balele talking to the media.

The gruesome murder of four people, including two children, has left the community of Brown’s Farm, Philippi, shattered and traumatised.

It is believed that three gunmen opened fire on a vehicle, killing the driver and three children, on Tuesday night April 3. It was a bleak day for the Gwadiso and Sixishi families, who are still in shock after the fatal shooting of their children.

The four are reportedly to have been gunned down while they were sitting in an Avanza parked outside their home in Philippi.

A tearful Nobuhle Balele, 17, said she went to the shop to buy bread for her deceased older brother Sinethemba Gwadiso when the incident happen.

Struggling to fight back tears as she spoke about her brother, she told Vukani that, as she had been returning from the nearby shop, she saw a white car that just pulled off near the Avanza.

She said three assailants got out of the vehicle and went straight to the driver’s side, shooting the driver before randomly shooting into the car.

“It was quick and we were screaming. After shooting they went back to the car and went off. When we got to the car, kids were lying there but only one could talk. She struggled to spit out words because she was shot on the neck. There was blood all over,” she explained.

She said police came but there was nothing they could do. When Vukani visited her home, the shattered 17-year-had not even had counselling since witnessing the incident. She said police promised to provide counselling, but had not.

Her visible shaken uncle, Lindela Dyubhele, said he had received a call just before 9pm to inform him hat his nephew Sinethemba *SURNAME?* had been gunned down.

To determine whether this was true, he made his way from Stellenbosch. “When I got here they were down. It was an unbelievable scene. We are still shattered and amazed how things turned out because he was such a nice guy. We are still asking ourselves questions as to what could be have been the problem. My heart ached after seeing children wiped out by a gun,” he said.

Mr Dyubhele said the family was devastated and that the deceased would be buried in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. The area’s ward councillor Fikiswa Nkunzi said she was shattered. “This is the first (incident) of its kind in this ward. I have never seen children wiped out like this before. This is bad news for all of us here. I am shell shocked,” she said.

Police said two men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said two men, aged 27 and 34 had been arrested in connection with the incident. He said the third suspect, identified to have been part of the attack, is yet to be arrested. The two suspects appeared in Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Monday April 9 to face four charges of murder and one of attempted murder. The case was postponed to Monday April 16.

The Provincial Commissioner of the Western Cape police, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula commended the detectives for bringing the suspects to book.