Finetown shootings: ‘I saw them kill my sister. There was nothing I could do’ | News24

Zikhona Gcwabe was shot dead in Finetown.

  • A woman watched as three armed men gunned down her sister and friend.
  • They didn’t deserve to die, says the uncle of one of the victims.
  • It was earlier reported that the gunmen had killed seven people and wounded four, but police reported that six people had been killed and five wounded. 

“I saw them killing my sister and her friend. There was nothing I could do except hide for cover.”

Teary-eyed Nosipho Gcwabe, 22, relived the painful moments of seeing her sister, Zikhona Gcwabe, 31, alive for the very last time.

Zikhona was sitting inside a car with four friends when gun-toting men opened fire on them.

The car was parked outside Zikhona’s home in Finetown, south of Johannesburg.

Three of her friends escaped from the vehicle.

Unfortunately, Zikhona and a friend were gunned down. According to police, armed gunmen killed six people and wounded five in Saturday’s mass shooting.

Nosipho was inside the house at around 20:00 when she started heard gunshots.

“Initially, they sounded like they were far from our home,” she told News24.

“The sounds were getting closer to our home. They then sounded like they were outside our home. I ran to the window in the lounge and peeped.”

She wanted to call her sister and her friends to run to the house because the gunshots were so close.


She said:

I then saw three men standing near their car. They were firing at them. They fired three shots at my sister and her friend. I saw them kill my sister and her friend. There was nothing I could do except hide for cover.

Nosipho closed the curtains and hid. The shots continued.

“They shot and wounded our neighbour outside her home. I ran outside to the car Zikhona was in. She was no more. Her friend, too, was dead.”

Nosipho suspected that the pair died in the car.

“We rushed them to hospital where they were certified dead. Their three friends in the car fled before the shooters could kill them. Zikhona sustained two shots to her body. Her friend was shot below her chin,” Nosipho said.

She expressed her dissatisfaction with how the police handled murder cases.

“They will be arrested and later released. They will come back to Finetown and do as they please. I don’t have hope in the police,” Nosipho said.

READ | Seven dead as gunmen open fire on Joburg street vendors

Her mother, Ntombizanele Gcwabe, called for the police to arrest the suspects before more people are killed.

Ntombizanele said:

I want them in jail. Justice must be done, although I don’t have confidence in the police. They must pay for what they did. They robbed me of a daughter. People are being killed daily here. Our police are not doing anything.

“My daughter was a visionary. She was brilliant. She loved education. She was a go-getter. She aimed high. Zikhona lived her life according to her goals. She was destined for great things in life.”

She said crime was rife in Finetown.

“We are not even safe in our homes. Day or night, you can be robbed and killed in Finetown. We don’t have freedom of movement here. They can come anytime to rob us in our homes. We are surviving by the grace of God,” the heartbroken mother added. 

Joshua Nkosi battled to explain how his nephew Sanele Makhoba, 20, was murdered.

Makhoba was among the first four people who the gunmen killed near a stall selling roasted chickens.

“He was with his best friend Thabang Kose, 22, when they were killed. My nephew was killed for no reason. He was repeatedly shot while trying to flee from the men killing his friend. 

“I arrived at the scene. He was there among the deceased. It was a painful sight. They were killed for no reason. They didn’t deserve to die. Something must be done. This place is dark at night because we don’t have streetlights. Will these killings in this world end?” Nkosi asked.

Kose had earlier been referred to as Thabang Motloung, but News24 confirmed his surname as Kose.

READ | Finetown shooting: 22-year-old victim sold chicken to earn a living but dreamt of playing professional soccer

Kose’s sister-in-law, Mmakopano Kose, said she and her husband had visited Thabang and his sister Pinkie, 41, earlier in the day, and then received a call to say the two siblings “were down”.

“They had been shot. We returned hoping that we would take them to the hospital. When we arrived, it was too late. Their bodies were covered with blankets. A police van drove past us and refused to stop. The police came after 01:00 after we had been calling them to come from 21:00,” Mmakopano said.

Died for her brother

Fine Town victims

Thabang Kose (seated) his sister Pinkie Kose (middle) their friend, Sanele Makhoba.

Mmakopano said the gunmen arrived in a VW Jetta, robbed her brother-in-law at his stall and shot him in the leg. Angry residents who witnessed the incident then pelted the gunmen’s vehicle with stones.

“The [gunmen] returned to finish what they had started. They were walking. They walked to Thabang, shot him multiple times. Pinkie was called to the scene. One of the gunmen asked if she wanted to be killed. She replied that they should kill her because they had killed her brother. They then shot her dead. 

“Pinkie’s two children were also missed by bullets. As we were conducting a media interview on Sunday, one of the shooters walked outside our home. Some of the gunmen were later seen attempting to rob a shop a street away from our home.”

Mmakopano called for the police “to be brave and arrest the killers”.

It was earlier reported that the gunmen had killed seven people with four others hospitalised. Police reported on Monday that six people had been killed and five wounded.

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