Pietermaritzburg: A Dambuza family is struggling to pick up the pieces after witnessing the murder of their breadwinner.
It is alleged that four unknown men, two of whom had their faces covered, stormed into Mathew Madukufamba’s (50) home, demanding money on Wednesday at around 3.30 pm.
After giving them the keys, the Zimbabwean national, who was a welder by profession, was shot in the presence of his wife and a 21-year-old son.
Recalling the incident, his son, Michael Nyoka, said he was working outside and had his earphones on.
“Two of the suspects went inside the house and the others were with me outside. They pulled me away and told me to come with them to get the car keys. They took my cell phone. When we got to the house, they told us to lie down.
“I heard gunshots being fired. When I checked, they had shot my father,” he said.
Madukufamba had already given the suspects his car keys. They took two flat screen televisions and cell phones.
“After I heard the gun shots, I was trying to go and get help from the neighbours, but the suspects saw me and one of the suspects who had a gun tried to shoot me, but he missed.
He then grabbed me and asked me where I am going. He demanded more money and I gave him the only R300 I had on me. They also told my mother to give them money and she gave them R400,” said Nyoka.
When the suspects were approaching the car, he ran to call his uncle and they chased them in another car up the road. After a few metres, the suspects jumped out of the stolen car and started shooting at Nyoka and his uncle.
“The suspects had backup. When their backup car came, they loaded everything they stole from the house and fled with the other car,” Nyoka said.
“On our way back home, unfortunately, my father passed away. This incident has left me devastated. My father was a quiet person who doesn’t like to start trouble. I will miss a lot about my father. He was also a bread winner, so I don’t know what my family is going to do now.”
Madukufamba’s brother, Thomas Nyoka, said they suspect Madukufamba knew one of the attackers who had their faces covered, and that is why they killed him.
“The suspects did this intentionally. They must have known enough about our family to pull this off. How can you just barge into a man’s house in broad daylight and do as you please? This is heart-breaking since he was the oldest in the family. As things stand, we don’t know where to start picking up the pieces.
“We still can’t believe he is gone. We fear for our lives, but all we need to do is to be strong and allow ourselves to heal from what happened. You can run, but when it’s your time there’s nothing you can do to change that. We want justice now,” he said.
Ward councillor Sibongumusa Zuma said they always ask themselves why criminals proceed to killing victims even after the victims have co-operated with them.
He added that before MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Peggy Nkonyeni was involved in an accident, they had an engagement with the aim of trying to come up with programmes that will assist in ensuring the safety of residents.
“Our community doesn’t feel safe at all. As we speak, there was a house that was set alight, and we keep hearing gunshots being fired. The community has pleaded with us to intervene and urge the police to be visible in the area.”
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo said police were called to a murder scene, and on their arrival they were shown the body of a 50-year-old man with gunshot wounds to the upper body.
“It is alleged the deceased and his son were confronted by four males, two of them had firearms. They demanded cash and shot the deceased. They took his vehicle, which was later recovered in Dambuza.
Plessislaer police are investigated a murder and robbery case,” she said.