Mabuyane condemns the killing of elderly, vulnerable women

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Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has expressed shock and condemned the killing of elderly and vulnerable women. He attended the funeral of a 70-year-old widow, who died in a hail of bullets at her Macwerheni home in Qumbu.

Kholiswa Groom was allegedly shot by two unknown gunmen in a suspected hit early last week. According to family members, nothing was stolen from her home after the brutal murder.

According to the family, the deceased, a widow of a chief, was with her 16-year-old grand daughter when the attack took place. It’s alleged the attackers kicked the front door open and broke the windows to gain entry into the house they were sleeping in. They then fired multiple shots at Groom, killing her instantly. The family is distraught and believes that her death was a hit.

Groom son, Thobisa Ndabangaye explains:

“My mother heard people speaking outside the house. They then called her by her name, saying MaDlamini open the door. When she opened, they started shooting. You can see there’s one bullet that went through the top of the door. She then called my niece who was already in bed as it was around 9 in the evening, telling her there are people carrying firearms. My niece could also hear gunshots. So my mom asked her to hide behind the bed. My niece told us that my mother asked the killers what she has done to them.”

Groom’s brother-in-law, Jongilizwe Groom says the family has been left confused.

“This is very confusing to us as a family because we really don’t know what the motive was because my sister-in-law was just a good person and not troublesome. We also don’t have anyone to suspect might have had a quarrel with her. But our wish is for the perpetrators to be found and brought to book.”

Killing of elderly rife

Amacwerha Traditional Council, Chief Kholisile Siyoyo say the killing of the elderly is becoming rife in the area.

“This is becoming a norm now. It keeps happening. We don’t really know what’s going on, but people get killed by unknown people, like this, because we don’t know who killed her. If I can count from since I became a chief here I think over 20 people have died this way. This is painful because it means there’s no social cohesion amongst us as residents.”

While releasing provincial crime statistics in February, Community Safety, MEC Xolile Nqatha, said violent crimes against women and children continue to be a major concern.

The Eastern Cape Premier attended the deceased’s funeral service. He vowed to ensure that a door-to-door operation is conducted in the village to rid it of illegal firearms.

“These killings have been going on and on. I think the local priest has just indicated in his sermon that it’s not the first time that they are burying people like this. These people are killing men, are killing women and definitely are men. There are men who are actually used by other people here to kill other people. So we condemn this thing in the strongest possible term and we’d like to refrain from doing such heinous crimes. Women are being abused. Women are killed. Women are being raped. This can’t be right. We are not a society that allows things like those.”

No one has been arrested yet but police are investigating a case of murder.