Owner, 3 patrons killed by gunmen

Canaan Mdletshe and Mandla Mkhize

Canaan Mdletshe and Mandla Mkhize

A tavern owner and three of his patrons were shot dead when unknown men opened fire on them on Saturday night.

Witnesses said yesterday that the assailants pounced on the popular 24-hour joint, the Mykonaz Tavern at Georgedale, in Hammarsdale near Durban.

Mento Hadebe, a patron, said: "We were dancing to the music and suddenly there was mayhem when the men started shooting.

"We dived for cover when they shouted and ordered everyone to lie face down. It was terrifying. You did not know why and who they wanted to shoot. We lay there until they were gone."

The owner, Bulelani Ndokwana, 29, was sitting outside so he was shot first, according to a woman who said she was related to one of the dead men.

The gunmen then went inside and opened fire on customers, killing Sthembiso Chili, 22, Ntokozo Chamane, 23, and Sibusiso Dlomo, age unknown.

Lungiswa Ndokwana, the tavern owner's sister, said yesterday: "At midnight we heard the gunshots, but never thought they were shooting my brother.

"He had no enemies, that's why we never suspected anything."

She said they were devastated because her brother was young and had two children, a daughter, 7, and a one-year-old son.

Ndokwana believes the shooters are gangsters.

"They have been terrorising the community, committing armed robberies and house breakings," she said.

Captain Joshua Gwala of the police said an undisclosed amount of money and liquor were taken.

"The suspects fled on foot and are still at large,' he said.