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Pregnant lover gunned down at work

By unknown | Jun 13, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Two young lovers died in a dramatic shooting at a clothing store on East London's main road, Oxford Street, yesterday when an enraged man shot the mother of his unborn child dead before turning the gun on himself.

The shooting happened in front of the woman's shocked and screaming colleagues at a busy branch of the Jet Stores clothing chain.

Xolani Masala, a store manager from Butterworth, believed to have been in his early twenties, entered the branch of Jet Stores in Oxford Street and launched into a heated argument with his partner, Unathi Myataza, from Mdantsane.

Her colleagues said Myataza was pregnant by Masala.

A colleague of Myataza, who asked to remain anonymous, said Masala had demanded that Myataza return to Butterworth every night to be with him - a distance of about 120km.

The store's assistant manager, Allodia Masimela, instructed the employees to ask Masala to leave the store.

He did, but returned a short while later armed with a handgun.

The colleague said Masala came back into the store, cocked his gun and pointed it at Masimela and Myataza.

Both of them lay down on the floor. However, the manager was able to escape and fled the scene unharmed.

As employees and customers ran for cover, colleagues said Masala grabbed hold of Myataza.

"We saw Xolani lifting Unathi. He pointed his gun at her head and said, 'I am going to kill you today'.

"Unathi was crying, begging Xolani not to kill her. Then he just shot her," added the colleague.

A second shot went off and Myataza fell to the floor.

"Then Xolani turned the gun on himself," said the colleague. They both died at the scene.

Though Myataza's workmates said the argument was about commuting between Butterworth and East London, police spokesman Superintendent Mtati Tana said it was still unclear what the argument was about.

He said police would investigate the shooting and an inquest would be held.

Jet Stores' regional manager for East London, Gerald Sutherland, said the company would release a statement later.

He referred media enquiries to the company's legal department in Johannesburg, but this department could not be reached yesterday.

Myataza's colleagues said she was faithful to Masala.


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