Maverick Citizen


Four brothers shot, three killed in shooting at initiation school near Butterworth

Four brothers shot, three killed in shooting at initiation school near Butterworth
Three brothers who were shot and killed in their initiation school in Ngqamakhwe, Eastern Cape: Awonke Busakhwe (19), Anele Busakhwe (20) and their older brother Sakhe Busakhwe (age unknown). Anele and Awonke were initiates while Sakhe was visiting them at the initiation school. (Photos: Supplied).

Three brothers died and another was injured in a shooting at an isolation hut at Ngqamakhwe near Butterworth in the Eastern Cape.

The Eastern Cape village of Ngqamakhwe, near Butterworth, was in shock on Tuesday after four brothers were shot in a hut at an initiation school, leaving three dead and one injured.

The grandfather of the four young men, Mncedi Busakhwe, said he had never seen scenes like he did on Tuesday morning, and especially never thought he would see it at an initiation school.

four brothers shot initiation school eastern cape

From left: Amathole District Initiation Forum chairperson Nkosi Mzikayise Khawulela, Mnquma Initiation Forum chairperson Nkosi Phathuxolo Tyhali, health department officials and Busakhwe family members outside the kraal during a visit to Busakhwe family after two initiates and their brother were shot and killed at their initiation school in Ngqamakhwe, Eastern Cape. A fourth Busakhwe brother was injured in the shooting and is in hospital. (Photo: Supplied)

Two of the brothers were initiates and both were killed. The two older brothers were at the school to look after the younger initiates. One of the older brothers was killed. The other is being treated in hospital.

“We took these two boys to the initiation school on Sunday afternoon hoping they would return home soon, but two days later I received a call telling me to rush to the initiation school,” Busakhwe said.

The deceased have been identified as Awonke Busakhwe (19), Anele Busakhwe (20) and their brother Sakhe Busakhwe (age unknown). The survivor is not being identified for safety reasons.

“When I got inside the initiation hut I saw them lying there naked. They had gunshot wounds,” said Mncedi Busakhwe.

“This is something that I never saw before. I still do not believe that those are my children who were killed like that.”

Busakhwe confirmed that the traditional nurse was not present at the time of the shooting and that the initiates were with their two brothers during the shooting.

“He (the nurse) was not with them. He had left to check on something at home,” Busakhwe said.

Eastern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo confirmed that emergency medical services had been summoned to the scene. It was initially thought that the third person killed was the traditional nurse.

The Mnquma initiation forum chairperson, Nkosi Phathuxolo Tyali, who was among the first traditional leaders to arrive at the scene, said they were still shocked.

“We are shattered. The entire community is shocked. We never experienced anything like this in this area,” Tyali said.

The spokesperson for the Eastern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mamnkeli Ngam, said the department was working with police to discover more about the tragedy. 

“What has happened is a very serious concern to the department… We are still in the process of gathering all the relevant information and facts surrounding this unfortunate incident,” Ngam said. 

Provincial Commissioner Lt-Gen Nomthetheleli Mene confirmed: “It is alleged that at about 01:15 this morning (Tuesday 5 December) the grandfather of the deceased was alerted of a shooting at an initiation school in Ngcwazi A/A Mntla location. 

“The community went to investigate and found three males aged 18-26 years old fatally shot. The brother of the deceased males, aged 22 years old, sustained a gunshot wound to his upper body and was taken to hospital for treatment.

“The suspect is unknown at this stage and the motive is yet to be established. The police are appealing to anyone who can assist in the investigation to contact SAPS Nqamakwe on 073 272 9874 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or the nearest police station. All information is confidential, and callers may remain anonymous,” said a statement released by the police.

“The police are committed to bringing the perpetrator to justice and we will do everything in our power to ensure accountability for this heinous act. The loss of young lives, especially from one family, is devastating and we convey our condolences to the family.

“Let us unite in ensuring justice for the victims and preventing such tragedies in the future. We urge the communities to come forward with any information that can assist in solving these murders and the attempted murder,” Mene said.

The chairperson of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders, Nkosi Moumalanga Gwadiso, conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • mona.ries says:

    My sympathy and condolences to this family. I was born in Nqamakwe ,daughter of Dr MC Joynt.,then married Dr C.J Ries and continued to live there. James Sonti and Aaron Mgoji ( spelling is wrong ,sorry. I knew him as Maduna)worked for many years with my family. The people I remember there were all honourable people and see eing this news is heartbreaking.We need to get back to the days when we all tried to look after one another,when the village was a place that helped bring up all children of any colours. When people were polite and kind , where I knew my children could walk to Blythswood from the age of five to play with friends and be safe . When people passing would stop to greet , where we sold a brandy bottle of milk for a penny and debts to the doctors were often paid with a cabbage or a chicken when cash was short.I pray for the safety of all in Nqamakwe and especially for this family🙏🙏🙏

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