Boitekong residents in NW living in fear following murder of 9 people

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Nine people were shot and killed at the Popo Molefe Informal Settlement, in Boitekong, outside Rustenburg on Saturday. According to police, a group of individuals were sitting at a house of one of the injured people when a group of Sotho speaking assailants opened fire on them.

In the ensuing shooting, eight people died instantly while the ninth victim was certified dead upon arrival at the hospital. The attack left eight more people injured.

More than 40 structures belonging to Basotho were allegedly set alight by Xhosa speaking people in September. The fight seemingly over live-stock theft.

“By chasing them away from here, this happens to be their revenge, by killing people who were having a party. They killed more than seven people. We chased Basotho away because they were stealing our livestock. We chased them away by burning their houses,” says Ntsikelelo Ndumela, resident.

In retaliation, a group of Basotho allegedly shot more than 20 people on Saturday.

Eight of them died on the scene while one was declared dead at the hospital.

Nomfezeko Mvunyelwa, one of the survivors, says, “While we were enjoying, came people at the gate who shot us with guns. We laid down. They kept shooting, one by one. They saw blood on my body, blood of those who were shot, and they thought they also shot me.”

She says pretending to be dead saved her.

“I laid there as we all did. I heard my child crying. I didn’t wake up. I pretended to have died. They kept shooting,” she adds.

Thandiwe Mampolo, one of the injured victims, says her best friend is one of the nine deceased.

“My best friend is among the people who died here. I loved her with all my heart. I’m shattered. What happened to Xoliswa broke me,” she says.

Now, residents are pleading for a truce.

“We’re pleading to the police to go ask Basotho, that we meet so that we can talk and come with a solution because people are going to die if we keep fighting like this. That’s what we want,” says Mbongeni Bogal, Ward Committee member.

The families are expected to identify their loved ones on Monday.

Video: Nine people killed in the North West, witnesses cite cultural tensions