Mystery murders of four women friends shot execution-style

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Trainee constable Bawinile Gumbi had just received a R10000 bank loan to start a small business when she was brutally murdered.

Gumbi, 31, and her close friends, Ntombizonke Zulu, 23, Nosipho Shazi, 23, and Ntombifuthi Nzimande, 24, were killed execution-style at the weekend.

They were all shot once in the forehead while asleep in Gumbi's four-roomed house in KwaMakhutha, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday night.

S'thabile Danisa, Gumbi's younger sister, told Sowetan yesterday that her sister had informed her last week that she had been granted a loan of R10000 to start a business.

"I spoke to her on Friday and she was happy to have been lent the money," Danisa said.

"When I asked her what sort of business she had in mind, she said she wanted to open a tuck-shop."

Gumbi, who was a widow, was still looking for a place from which to operate her business.

Yesterday, neighbours described her as a lovable person who had no enemies. They said the four friends were like sisters.

Busisiwe Maphumulo, a friend and neighbour, said they were still trying to come to terms with the mass murder

"It's painful to imagine what they went through," she said.

"We suspect the killers might have been known to them. How else can one explain why simple things such as cellphones and a DVD player were taken when there were so many better items in the house? It baffles us," Maphumulo said.

Another neighbour, Cynthia Zulu, said she believed the killers had a problem with one of the woman and had resorted to killing them all to wipe out evidence.

The families are still to decide if a mass funeral would be held.

Police spokesman, Senior Superintendent Phindile Hadebe, said a provincial task team, which had successfully investigated the murders of nine women in the KwaMakhutha area, had been appointed to investigate the murders of the four women.