A visibly traumatised Pamela Nquma, says it is by the grace of God that both she and her five-month-old baby girl, Okwenam survived a taxi shooting in Khayelitsha four weeks ago.
She had been travelling with her boyfriend, Thoba Ntandani, and Mr Ntandani’s cousin Ntsikelelo Myeki when the shooting occurred.
Ms Nquma told Vukani they got into an empty taxi at Harare police station around 2pm, shortly after which another young woman got in as well. It was after they had driven about a kilometre and a half that they heard gunshots.
She took cover, her first instinct being to protect her baby whom she was carrying in front of her.
The taxi was riddled with bullets. She was hit by at least seven of them – in her left hand, left leg and her upper body. Two bullets grazed the left arm and stomach of her baby girl.
Ms Nquma told Vukani she’s unsure how she survived the attack. Her boyfriend and his cousin were not that lucky.
“My boyfriend and his cousin died on the spot,“ she told Vukani.
“It was me, my baby and the driver who survived the attack.
“I remember, when I tried to get up as I heard the taxi sliding door open, thinking that maybe it was residents trying to help us but it was one of the killers. He was cocking his gun intending to shoot me again but one of his people he was, with called him. He wanted to finish me off. When he moved away, I jumped out of the taxi but he shot me in the leg as I was running. I fell down but got up and carried on running.
“When I was running I did not know how many bullets had hit me. I soon realised that my boyfriend did not make it as his lifeless body was lying there in the taxi.
“That is a day that I will never forget,” she said.
Harare police station spokesperson, Captain Siyabulela Vukubi confirmed that three were shot and killed while a mother and her baby girl, as well as the driver had survived the attack. He added that an 11-year-old girl who had been standing in the road, had also been shot but did not die.
He said a case of murder and attempted murder had been registered.
Ms Nquma said as much as she was grateful that she and her baby did not die but she feels that half of her life had been brutally taken away from her.
She described her boyfriend as caring and loving soul who adored his baby girl. He had been the breadwinner and supported her and her baby as she is unemployed.
Mr Ntandani’s sister, Busiswa Salamani, wept silently as she described the pain of losing two family members in one incident.
She said her younger brother had meant everything to them and that the reality of his, and Mr Myeki’s death had not yet hit home.
She said Codeta had donated R20 000 toward the burial costs but felt that money couldn’t change that her brother and cousin had died in a war that they were not involved in.
Codeta spokesperson, Andile Kanyi told Vukani it was their policy to donate R20 000 to families who had lost relatives in taxi related incidents. While they could not bring back those who had died, he said, the least they could do was show their support.