PMB woman details how nephew was killed during July unrest

PMB woman details how nephew was killed during July unrest

Investigative hearings into the unrest, looting and violence in KwaZulu-Natal began on Monday with testimony from a woman who detailed how her 17-year-old nephew was killed. 

Zama Nguse nephew was killed during July unrest
YouTube: South African Human Rights Commission

The South African Human Rights commissioners are hearing oral evidence on the events that unfolded in July, with a key focus on the murders of 36 people in Phoenix.

Zama Nguse lives with her two young children and boyfriend in an informal settlement in Raisethorpe in Pietermaritzburg. 

She says on 12 July, she was startled by a loud noise outside her home. 

She says she and her neighbours went outside and saw a group of people burning tyres. 

She says members of private security companies arrived and began firing tear gas into crowd - which filled their homes. 

Nguse's been speaking through a translator. 

"After we closed the door we heard something which seemed some sort of an explosion, although we didn't know what was exploding. We got out of the house and fled. 

"When we were running, Sbahle last saw us when we were entering his mother's house. Indeed we had fled after that." 

She says Sbahle was shot by members of two private security companies. 

Nguse described the looting and violence that played out on 12 July. 

"There was some chaos going on. There were police that was there and people were running away; some were carrying liquor. We saw them breaking into the moto spare shop, which is opposite us. 

"It was a group of people, quite many of them and we didn't know them and it seems like there were people coming from Greytown Road or maybe they were from Swapo or Ezinketheni."  

She says as the violence continued, she and her family hid.

"While we were waiting, we heard the sound of the explosion as we had heard the previous night, now it was during the day. Then some of them would run towards the houses which are at the bottom and some would go to hide in the river. 

"While we were still hiding there, we then heard people were saying they are burning the houses which are on the upper part of the community." 

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