'Wake up!' - cousin cries for slain Daveyton twins

2015-09-21 08:19
Family and friends mourn the loss of two twins during their funeral in Etwatwa, Johannesburg. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Family and friends mourn the loss of two twins during their funeral in Etwatwa, Johannesburg. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - As the caskets of slain Daveyton twins Sabelo and Samkelo Maisela were being lowered on Sunday morning, their 9-year-old cousin Kamogelo cried out to them, begging them to wake up.

"Sabelo, wake up!" he screamed with tears running down his face.

When his mother Dudu Maisela tried to move him away from the gravesite, Kamogelo resisted her grasp, saying he did not want to leave the boys behind.

Two men restrained the young boy as he leaned over the grave, still crying and screaming for his cousins to come back.

Kamogelo, the Maisela family, their friends and neighbours had all gathered at the Etwatwa cemetery to give the twins their final send-off.

The loud cries from the women in the family sitting on the ground and the youngsters' close female friends drowned out the hymns being sung by the church choir.

Sabelo and Samkelo's burnt bodies were found in an open field on Tuesday. They had apparently been necklaced by an angry mob which had kidnapped the boys from their home on Monday around midnight.


Ekurhuleni Metro Police spokesperson Clifford Shongwe said on Sunday that a 53-year-old and the 19-year-old thought to be behind the abduction and killing of the twins were arrested.

The older man had been sought by police since the violence started and is believed to preside over cases where a self-appointed anti-crime group takes action against people it believes have committed crimes, bypassing the criminal justice system.

The two were expected to appear in the Daveyton Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The twins, who were orphans, were raised by their grandmother since they were young children. They lived in Etwatwa with her, their aunt Dudu and her son Kamogelo.

Their grandmother, who was being comforted by other women during the burial, stared blankly at the grave, occasionally wiping tears away.

The boys were allegedly members of a prominent gang in Etwatwa called the OVL, One Vision Lover.

Gang members were apparently being targeted by people in the community who were fed up with lawless youths allegedly committing violent crimes in the area and getting away with it.

Some residents said the police were not doing enough to deal with the gang. This was why residents were taking matters into their own hands.

Great aunt Ntombana Maisela holds up a picture of the twins. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Struggling with the loss

The twins' great aunt Ntombana Maisela said the family was still struggling to come to terms with the loss.

She said although the boys were said to be part of the OVL gang, they were still young and had the potential to outgrow it.

"Everyone goes through a naughty phase, but you need to give them a second chance," Ntombana said.

"Those people should have taken them somewhere and spoken to them, even if they wanted to punish them physically, they could have disciplined them just a little bit so that they change their ways.

"The people who did this to us hurt us a lot, a lot."

Ntombana said the police, the community and the government needed to find a solution to the gang-related violence before more lives were lost.

"[They must] get together and fix this problem because our children are perishing."

Other incidents

Since last week Sunday, three teenage boys have been killed and three houses burnt in violence between residents and OVL members.

A teenage boy was burnt alive last week Sunday. A tyre was forced over his body, he was doused with petrol and set alight. Four OVL members were arrested the following day.

The twins were killed in the same fashion on Tuesday.

On Thursday, another member of the OVL gang, who is believed to be the ring leader, was physically assaulted and set alight in similar fashion. Police arrived on the scene soon afterwards, put out the fire and transported the boy to hospital.

The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department could not immediately provide an update on the boy's state of health.

One of the neighbours who had attended the funeral on Sunday said it was impossible for parents to track the whereabouts of their children all the time.

"As parents, we don't deny that we are not with our children 24 hours a day, we don't know what they get up to. What is painful is that these people set our houses alight, that is what hurts.

"While you're at home sleeping, you don't know what he's doing. You've locked your gate and gone to bed," she said.

When the young boy's body was discovered last week Sunday, she had just attended the funeral of yet another young boy who had been killed in a similar fashion on the Saturday.

"They had left his body in the street that he lives in. That's when all this started. Then on Sunday they burnt this other one," she said.

(Mpho Raborife, News24)

Twins 'respectful, popular'

Sabelo and Samkelo's childhood friends Noluthando, Zinhle, Phindile, Phumla and Linda described the twins as respectful guys who were popular in their neighbourhood and liked joking around.

"[When we heard they had been killed] all my classmates cried, especially the girls," their next door neighbour Phindile said.

The last time Noluthando saw the boys was the night they were kidnapped.

"I watched those people take them. There were a lot of people and they were just making a lot of noise. I saw them take one of them, they left with him.

"There was a car that came to get them, a van. Then it left, and the mob followed it," she said.

The last thing the twins had told her when they were all together was that they loved the way she dressed.

She intended to make sure she was the best-dressed girl in the neighbourhood, in their honour, she said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  gang violence

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