Marianhill massacre survivor describes night of blood and bullets

2017-10-25 20:30


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Durban – Shocking details of blood and bullets emerged on Wednesday at the bail application of a 24-year-old KwaZulu-Natal man, accused of being the key trigger man in the killing of a Durban family.

Mbuyiseni Shozi appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court, to a packed gallery, as investigating officer Constable Nhlanhla Mzimela took to the stand.

READ: Marianhill massacre accused calls himself a simple family man

The matter was rolled over to next Thursday, following another day of lengthy argument, as Mzimela gave detailed accounts of a key eyewitness testimony.

Shozi is accused of being one of the gunmen who fired multiple shots at the family from the Nteke area in Marianhill. Four of the family members died on the scene, while another died in hospital earlier this month.

Mzimela, a police officer for eight years, gave insight into the tragic incident and relayed an account of the murders, as described to him by a witness known only as Mr Gwala.

He described how Gwala had received a call that fateful evening.

"He was told that his wife was sick. Himself and his friend Lindelani Meyiwa went to the home."

But when the duo arrived home, something was amiss.

Refuge in a toilet

"As they got home, they pushed the door [open]. Linda [Meyiwa] was following him. Gwala proceeded to the bedroom to his wife, while Linda waited in the lounge. When he entered the room he could see his wife sitting at the bed. He could see something troubling her."

Mzimela said that, before Gwala could speak, he heard shouting coming from the lounge where Linda was waiting.

"He was screaming and saying, 'please do not shoot us, we did not do anything'. Shortly after, Gwala heard three gunshots. According to Gwala’s evidence, he then hid behind his bedroom door. The wife continued sitting on the bed."

Mzimela said that Gwala had identified Shozi as the shooter, having known him from the area.

"After the gunshots, the person firing proceeded to Gwala's bedroom. He pointed the firearm at the wife sitting on the bed. Gwala realised the person was going to shoot his wife and came out of hiding, telling Shozi to rather shoot him."

When he came out of hiding, Shozi allegedly grabbed Gwala by the neck and dragged him into his lounge.

ALSO READ: Suspect in KZN family massacre shot dead during arrest attempt

"When in the sitting room, another man in the company of the accused was carrying a shotgun. Gwala said it was at this point that he saw Meyiwa shot and lying on the couch. The accused and his friend then pulled the wife out of the room."

On hearing the commotion, Gwala’s brother arrived at the home, Mzimela said.

"At this stage, they were assaulting him [Gwala] with firearms, telling him they would kill him. As they were outside in the yard, Gwala's brother arrived and questioned why there was shooting."

He added: "The accused did not respond and shot Gwala's brother. That was when Gwala escaped and fled. They tried to shoot him as he was running away."

Gwala sought refuge in the toilet of a neighbour's home, said Mzimela.  

'Witness will not be safe'

"As he was hiding in the toilet, he heard more gunshots and realised his wife was shot. He stayed in the toilet until he could not hear any commotion. After some time he heard people talking."

Mzimela said that Gwala realised the people were his neighbours and came out of hiding.

"He went with his neighbour to the crime scene. He saw Linda still lying on the couch. He went to the room, but his wife was not there. He saw bloodstains on the window. He saw his wife outside the house. She had been shot in the cheek with the shotgun."

Mzimela asked the court to ensure Shozi did not get bail.

"He could endanger the life of the witnesses because he knows the witness. He was trying to kill these people. He will definitely interfere with the witness. The witness will not be safe if he gets bail. His life will be in danger."

Mzimela will remain on the stand for the next sitting of the bail application.  

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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