The joy of three friends celebrating the writing of their final exam paper ended in a triple murder when they were shot execution-style.
High school learners Nolusindiso Bless (17) and her friends 20-year-old Siyasanga Nkasela and 21-year-old Zintle Meloni were shot dead in Site B, Khayelitsha, on Monday.
They were shot in the head and their bodies were discovered in an alley between shacks at the TT Block in Site B. The alley where they were found is a couple of metres wide and the shots were heard from inside the corrugated iron informal structures on both sides of the alley.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said residents discovered the bodies shortly after hearing gunshots at around 8pm on Monday. The motive for the killings has not yet been established.
Nolusindiso attended De Grendel High School, while Nkasela was at Bridgetown High and Meloni at Joe Slovo High. Nolusindiso’s mother, Nontobeko Bless, knew her daughter was out celebrating the final exam paper and expected her to come home.
But death knocked at her door when neighbours told her that her child had been shot. She gathered her strength and walked to the scene where she saw her child’s body lying on the ground.
Trying to contain her grief, Bless said: “I was very sad that this had happened to my child. I was at the scene and saw her body lying on the floor. As a family we are devastated by this.
“She liked dancing and we would watch her dancing on her brother’s music videos. The three of them were very active in dancing, lovely people, and they never caused any kind of problems.”
Harare Community Policing Forum member and LGBTQIA+ activist Funeka Soldaat said: “It is very unusual that three young people are killed cold-bloodedly. There is a lot of crime happening in the township, but the murder of three high school learners is something unheard of. We need to delve deeper to find the real reason why they were killed.
“Life is no longer a right, it’s more like a luxury, because you can get killed at any minute of the day. How is it possible that so many people in townships are roaming the streets with guns? Isn’t there police intelligence to combat this?”
Phindile George from the Khayelitsha Community Policing Forum said residents had become used to killings in the area.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said: “I’m shocked and angered by the murder of three women in Khayelitsha on Monday. This violence cannot be tolerated and we need an urgent arrest and for all those responsible to face the full might of the law. Those who committed this horrible crime must end up behind bars.”
He welcomed news that the SA Police Service had instituted a 72-hour activation plan. Fritz said his department would monitor the situation and was ready to deploy additional officers to the area.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the police on 08600 10111 or via the MySAPS App. DM/MCInternet Explorer Channel Network