Car wash attack ‘will forever haunt’ surviving brother

2014-10-14 00:00

THE lone survivor of Saturday night’s shooting at a Ladysmith car wash, which claimed five lives, says he took away a scar that will serve as a constant reminder of the day he escaped death.

Recounting his terrifying ordeal yesterday, bus driver Sakhile Dlamini said three of those killed in the hail of gunfire were his brothers. Walking on crutches, Dlamini said: “My brother was washing his car when another car stopped and men inside opened fire. There were many of them because the noise of the guns was overwhelming.”

He said he was running away when he was struck twice in the leg and collapsed to the ground. He picked himself up and took cover until the shooting died down and the gunmen drove off.

“Losing three family members at the same time is painful,” he said, adding that the scars on his leg from the bullet wounds “will be a reminder forever” of the incident. His brothers were identified as Muzi, Sfungo and Mlungisi Dlamini. The two other victims of the attack were identified as Menzi Mvelase and Makhekhe Mathebula.

According to the Transport Department’s Sipho Khumalo, investigations suggest that the car wash attack and another that resulted in a taxi colliding with a truck, killing eight people, could be linked to a taxi feud emanating from Gauteng that has now spilled into Kwa­Zulu-Natal. This is believed to be between the Mabaso and Gamede families, who have taxi interests in Johannesburg and Pretoria. It has emerged that prior to the weekend’s events, 15 other people have been killed in the ongoing feud.

Yesterday, Transport and Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu met with the affected Ladysmith communities and received briefings from local officials. He also visited survivors of the attacks, and families of those killed in the incidents.

He pleaded with those involved to discuss the cause of the fighting.

A relative of one of the victims said the community was living in fear of further attacks.

Provincial DA leader Sizwe Mchunu said the MEC should present a progress report and security plan for the affected area to the Community Safety portfolio committee. “It is unacceptable that ordinary people should have to live under such frightening circumstances,” he said.

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