Man guns down family members, takes own life

MOURNING: Elsie Dlamini, Nesta Jali, Peggy Msomi and Nomvuyo Msomi mourn the deaths of thier sister Virginia Msom, 65, and daughter Makhosi Mqadi,44, who were gunned down by Mqadi's husband. Pic. Makgotso Gulube. 30/12/2007. © Sowetan.
MOURNING: Elsie Dlamini, Nesta Jali, Peggy Msomi and Nomvuyo Msomi mourn the deaths of thier sister Virginia Msom, 65, and daughter Makhosi Mqadi,44, who were gunned down by Mqadi's husband. Pic. Makgotso Gulube. 30/12/2007. © Sowetan.

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The matric pupil who is fighting for her life in hospital after being shot by her enraged stepfather is unaware that a bright future still awaits her if she survives.

The pupil, Hlengiwe Msomi, 17, was shot last Thursday with her mother, grandmother and two cousins while waiting anxiously to know whether she had passed or not.

Yesterday her family told Sowetan they were praying for her speedy recovery now that she has passed with a matric exemption.

Hlengiwe, a pupil at Umthwalume High School on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, wants to become a social worker.

She suffered gunshot wounds to her arm and chest.

The news that she got an exemption was only given to her by her relatives in hospital.

Sifiso Dlamini, her uncle, said they were keeping their fingers crossed that she survives. "We hope she will recover soon so she can fulfil her dream of becoming a social worker."

While she and her cousin Nompilo are fighting for their lives in hospital, her mother, Makhosi Mqadi, 44, and her grandmother, Virginia Msomi, 65, are no more - they died on the spot after being shot.

They had been visiting their grandmother in Inanda, north of Durban, when Wiseman Mqadi, her stepfather, fired at them.

Msomi's other cousin, Mandisa, 16, and her six-month-old baby Amahle were rushed to hospital after the incident. The baby is also fighting for her life in the intensive care unit. Mandisa died in hospital on Friday.

Police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said it was not yet clear what had led to the tragic events.

"Mqadi was found already dead with his gun and his cellphone near his body. His Opel Kadet car was parked a distance away in the Amawoti area," Mdunge said.

Family spokesman Jabulani Msomi said it was very hard to accept that they had lost so many members of their family at the same time.

"At this stage, we do not have a clear picture of what happened because I only received a call that my family members had died.

"It's painful because these people loved each other dearly," he said.

Yesterday, Sowetan visited the family home and found neighbours rallying around the bereaved family.

Jabulani said the family had come together for the Christmas holidays.

"We told Hlengiwe that she had passed her matric but we did not give her more details because she is still in great pain.

Msomi said neither cousin was aware that their grandmother, mother and cousin had died. "We need professional counsellors to tell them because they are still traumatised."

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