Tshutsha Daniso was watching over new RDP houses being built in Bardale‚ Mfuleni‚ when he was shot dead on Friday night.
Daniso was guarding houses at the Siluncedo People’s Housing Project and Ilitha People’s Housing Project. He died at the corner of Ibhola and Inqununu Street.
“Just as he returned from collecting firewood and sat on a chair‚ the thugs shot him dead‚” said Mashikwe Luzipho‚ who was on the same shift that night.
Luzipho said they were busy making tea. Their colleagues were out patrolling the construction site.
“We have lost someone who made us laugh with his funny jokes throughout the nights … We will miss him‚” he said. Vuyelwa Nqambuza‚ Luzipho’s wife‚ said‚ “My husband pounded on my door‚ woke me up and asked me to phone the police … He said criminals are shooting us. He was terrified.”
Nqambuza described Daniso as “quiet and kind”. Luzipho said he was “sweet and chatty”.
Luzipho said they had been on site for a month. Criminals attempted to steal anything they could from the newly built houses‚ including doors and windows while the cement was still wet. They were most active between 1am and 6am. “We chase and catch them before we hand them over to the project managers‚” he said.
Luzipho said he now fears for his life. “We will stay in the shipping container and lock the gate at the site. We won’t chase after thugs again because they will kill us.”
Community member Mzikayise Moni said he heard gunshots while he was watching the lunar eclipse at his home on Friday night. At about 7am on Saturday‚ Moni saw residents and cops gathered at the construction site.
“The police must stop being scarce around here and start to patrol on a nightly basis‚” he said.
“We have been experiencing theft of our building materials since 2015. I report it to the police‚ but they are not helping‚” said a manager at the site‚ who did not want to be named.
Spokesperson for the Western Cape police Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed a case of murder has been opened.
* This article was originally published by GroundUp.