On Monday, a Tanzanian businessman was reportedly gunned down in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, in what may have been a hit. According to News24, the man was found dead in his Audi RS3, slumped behind the steering wheel. Paramedics reportedly arrived about 10 minutes after the shooting.
A traumatised Mandisi Xiwa* was on the businessman’s passenger seat when the incident happened.
Speaking to DRUM, his voice shaking, Mandisi says he has trouble sleeping at night as he can’t stop thinking about how he watched his friend get shot.“I watched him get shot eight or so times. It was like a dream,” he explains. “One minute we were talking about sneakers and the next minute a car pulls up, I hear gunshots and I see blood splatter,” he says.
It was close to 3pm when Mandisi and another friend, Thabang Mofokeng*, met up with the deceased in Braamfontein. Mandisi was looking to buy sneakers in a store near where they met up. “But Thabang left and the two of us were left sitting in the car on Juta street talking,” he says.“When we left home, I didn’t expect something like this to ever happen,” he says.
Due to the shock, Mandisi barely remembers the details of the conversation they were having, but says he recalls seeing a black BMW pull up next to them and opening fire.“The BMW pulled up right next to us on the driver’s side and they just started shooting. They didn’t get out of the car. I don’t recall seeing how many people [there were] or any faces because everything happened so fast. All I saw was blood.”Mandisi says he didn’t even get a chance to run or to hide.“I just sat there on the passenger seat until it was all over,” he says. “I’m surprised I was unharmed. It looks as if they knew who they were coming for.”
The 35-year-old says the deceased had informed him that some people had attempted to shoot him just days before, but he got away.“I didn’t take the matter seriously. I just thought he might have been paranoid until now. But he is gone, there is nothing we can do about it,” Mandisi says.
Police spokesperson Captain Musa Shihambe says the deceased sustained injuries to the chest and police found 11 spent cartridges on the scene.
Mandisi is shaken and wishes to forget about the incident. He is currently attending counselling to help deal with the incident.“I just want to have a good night’s sleep again,” he says.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the interviewee.