An enraged Durban man allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend and her four-year-old baby boy before turning the gun on himself.
Vuyiswa Mayobe, 29, and her son, Lwandile, died on the scene while her other child, Lukhwele , 5, is still fighting for his life at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital. The children's minder escaped unharmed.
The family was allegedly shot in their home in Phoenix, north of Durban, on Monday night by Senzo Thusi, 32l.
Thusi had been arrested at the weekend for domestic violence and spent two nights at the Ntuzuma police station.
It is alleged that a quarrel between the couple arose when Mayobe wated to leave Thusi after finding out that he was paying lobola for another woman behind her back.
Yesterday Sowetan visited the dead woman's home and found the gates wide open with no one in sight.
The child minder was taken to hospital for counselling.
Mayobe's shocked neighbours said that Mayobe had earlier confided in them that Thusi was abusive.
They said she was planning to move out of her house.
"Vuyiswa was very scared of this man." they said.
"She told us on Sunday that her boyfriend was behaving like an animal. She lived with her children and we did not know her boyfriend very well.
"He used to come at night and we would sometimes see him leaving the house in the morning."
One woman said the last time they spoke on Sunday Mayobe told her she was terrified of Thusi.
"She told me that her boyfriend was aggressive," the neighbour said.
"She did not elaborate except to say that she was planning to run away from home because she wanted peace."
Residents said they called the police after they heard four gunshots at about 7pm.
"We did not know where the shots were coming from until we saw a girl jumping over the fence at Mayobe's home screaming," they said.
Mayobe was a nurse at the local hospital. Neighbours described her as a loving and friendly person.
"She arrived in the area in February and connected with us immediately," said a neighbour.
Police spokesman Muzi Mngomezulu said the shooting was as a result of domestic violence.
"The man used an illegal 9mm pistol. It's believed that he arrived at their home in Phoenix later on Monday and opened fire on everybody.
Meanwhile, a Pietermaritzburg couple Gabisile Nkosi, 34, and her ex-boyfriend Nqubili Ngidi, 35, were found dead in their house yesterday morning.
Police say the couple was separated and the woman was staying in the house where they were found.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Henry Budhram, said police had been called to a house in the Lidgetton area shortly after midnight.
They found the two bodies after breaking a window to get in.
Nkosi and Ngidi had both sustained gunshot wounds to the head. A 9mm pistol was found nearby.