Cape Town massacre: Philippi family describes grim discovery

Whatwana Zwilibi's two sons were shot and killed on Saturday evening in Philippi East at a house a few meters from his. The motive is not yet known. (Kamva Somdyala, News24)
Whatwana Zwilibi's two sons were shot and killed on Saturday evening in Philippi East at a house a few meters from his. The motive is not yet known. (Kamva Somdyala, News24)

The Zwilibi family is seeking answers after three family members were gunned down on Saturday evening in what can only be described as a bloody weekend in Philippi East, Cape Town.

Eleven people were killed in separate shootings in the area this past weekend, leaving police scrambling for answers and Police Minister Bheki Cele promising to tighten policing.

Phumzile Zwilibi recalled how three women came to the family home at around 19:00 on Saturday to let him know that his nephews, Sonwabo and Aphiwe Zwilibi, had been found dead.

"One of the women told me she had found two members of our family dead in her house," Phumzile said.

He added after hearing this, he rushed over to the house, which is a couple of meters from their home, and made the grim discovery: both his nephews had been fatally shot.

"We quickly moved to the police station and opened a case, after which I went to inform my brother [Whatwana Zwilibi, the father of two of the three men] who then accompanied me to the house and saw his children lying dead."

Phumzile said he had noticed a blood trail leading into a dark room that had a curtain as the door. He followed the trail, slowly, mindful that whoever was behind the attacks might well have found a hiding place in the dark room.

Phumzile Zwilibi's was first to make the discover

Phumzile Zwilibi explains the timeline of events leading up to the grim discovery of the bodies of three relatives. (Kamva Somdyala, News24).

With his phone light on, and carefully opening the curtain, he found  the body of his older brother's son, Sikelela Zwilibi, who was also fatally shot.

The three - aged 17, 18 and 25 - had been visiting a friend when the shootings happened.

According to the family, when they put the question to the friend, his response was that he had been sent to the shops and upon his return made the shocking discovery. He had not discovered Sikelela's body when he returned.

"He says he ran away. But he has still not told us where he ran to because he did not run to the police station and did not come to notify us.

"We're hurting. As a family we're in a lot of pain and we foresee tough times ahead for us," added Phumzile. 

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said "the motive for these shooting incidents remains the subject of intensive police investigation".


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