Greeted, then shot in passing

2010-12-10 00:00

A 23-YEAR-old mother of two will spend a sad Christmas as she mourns the murder of her partner, who was gunned down on Wednesday evening simply because the armed robbers knew him by name.

Sithembiso Dladla (34), the father of Dudu Jafta’s two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, was shot twice in the head after an armed robbery in a block of flats in Dambuza, where they had been renting a room. Dladla, who is from Caluza, worked for the Msunduzi Municipality.

Four armed men had just robbed a tuckshop keeper at the flats of R2 800. As they fled the scene they came across Dladla, who was standing near their getaway vehicle.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said bystanders report that the attackers had greeted Dladla by his nickname.

“They called him ‘Bha’ — his nickname is Bhayi — and continued to flee.” said Jeevan.

Then the suspects must have realised Dladla could later point them out as an eyewitness. They called him, ran back towards him and shot him twice point blank in his face and head.

Prior to Dladla’s attack, the four criminals had demanded R10 000 cash from Nduduzo Funeka, who has a tuckshop in the area. But he gave them only R800.

Jeevan said the suspects then ransacked the room and found about R2 000,” Jeevan said.

Jafta said Dladla had stepped out of the room for a while when she heard the two gunshots outside. “I panicked as my boyfriend was outside.

“A neighbour then came in to tell me that the father of my children had been shot.

“When I ran to him I found him lying on the ground with blood coming out of his face and head,” she said.

Her younger brother, Klaas Jafta (18), phoned an ambulance, but paramedics certified Dladla dead on the scene.

“Now I’m left with no one to help me raise my children. Tomorrow I will take my children to my parents in Matatiele, but I will return for the funeral arrangements,” said Jafta, still in shock.

Jeevan said the suspects got away in a yellow Mazda with Camperdown registration numbers.

Two spent 9mm cartridges were found at the scene.

She asked anyone who might help police to apprehend the suspects to call Captain Miccah Makhanya at 033 398 9755 or 082 567 0124. Callers who wish to remain anonymous should phone Crime Stop at 086 00 1011.

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