A gang of robbers killed two people, raped two women and assaulted three people in a day of terror in Soweto at the weekend.
Five families in Dobsonville yesterday told Sowetan how the gang had terrorised them.
Thandi Zwane of Snake Park in Dobsonville, Soweto, recalled how her nephew, Bongani Hlatshwayo, 23, died in a hail of bullets on Saturday morning.
"They killed my brother's son for no reason. They fired five shots at him as he lay on the ground, bleeding and helpless," said Zwane.
She said she was woken at 2am by the sound of gunfire outside her yard.
"I went to investigate and was met by three armed men. They had Bongani with them.
"He had gone to buy cigarettes and met the intruders outside. They came with him inside the house. He had been shot.
"They flashed torches at me and demanded money. When I told them I did not have money, they pointed their firearms at me and threatened to take me with them."
Zwane said the men fled with a DVD player, a television set and an amplifier.
A neighbour said the men kicked his door open and pointed their guns at him and his girlfriend. The man asked not to be named.
"They ordered me to lie down and, when I resisted, they hit me on the head with a gun," he said.
"Two of them grabbed my girlfriend and left with her."
The woman, who cannot be named, said the men took her to a nearby veld where they took turns raping her.
"I thought they were going to kill me. They left me there and said they were coming back," said the woman.
Another woman, 21, said one of the robbers raped her in front of her two-year-old child while the others ransacked her house.
Moses Hlongwane, 43, of Dobsonville, said he was awoken by three armed men who demanded money from him.
"I told them I did not have money and one of them hit me on the head with a firearm. They ransacked the house and left.
"Outside the house I heard a gunshot. When I went to investigate I found my friend lying on the ground dead.
"He had been shot once in the face," said Hlongwane.
Mandla Maphalala, whose son, Lucas Mlangeni, 28, was pistol whipped and severely beaten in the assault, said he was lucky to survive. His face was still badly swollen yesterday.
He said the robbers kicked open his door, flashed their torches at him and his wife and demanded money.
Police spokesman Captain Phillemon Khorombi confirmed that cases of housebreaking, robbery, and two counts of murders and rape had been opened.
"We are appealing to members of the community to come forward with any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects," he said.