Man guns down wife & her twin sister, gun jams as he tries to shoot tsano & wife, then kills self


When they were born on 24 August 1983 at Madlelenyoni, Ntabazinduna in Matabeleland North province, their family rejoiced as they were blessed with twins, and at that point — no one would have thought the pair of Samukelisiwe and Attalia Zhou would also die on the same day.

However, 41 years later, a dark cloud engulfed the Zhou family as they found themselves mourning their precious twins who were brutally gunned down in a horrific marital dispute that happened on 3 April in Beria, Johannesburg in South Africa, where they were based.

In a video circulating on social media, the elder brother of the late twins, Farai, said that Samukelisiwe was shot dead by her husband identified as Justin Mahlaba from Gokwe after the two had a marital dispute. The husband then shot Attalia. The two were killed during a family meeting, where the family was trying to resolve the couple’s differences. After killing the twins and trying to kill Farai and his wife, Justice also shot himself dead.

“My sisters were shot dead last week when we were having a family meeting consisting of six people — myself, my two late sisters, my brother-in-law (late), my wife and my younger brother Freddy. We started the meeting with a prayer. Everyone narrated their views and one of the twin sisters who was the one married to Mahlaba told us that she wanted to separate from her husband as she was tired of being abused and that is when all hell broke loose,” narrated Farai.

He continued, “My brother-in-law got angry and took out a gun and shot his wife in our presence and Freddy then ran for his life. He then went on to shoot Attalia. He shot his wife for the second time when she showed some signs of life and went on to point the gun at my wife. Luckily, the gun malfunctioned and when my wife realised that, she ran for her life and she was saved by a neighbour who hid her in her house.

“My brother-in-law then came back to the house after he failed to catch my wife and tried to shoot me but he failed as the gun jammed again. He then went to the balcony and I assumed that he wanted to throw himself off the balcony but after a few minutes, I heard a gunshot.

“He had killed himself. I remained on the ground and waited for the police to come,” said Farai.

During the course of the week, B-Metro visited the Zhou homestead at Madlelenyoni in Ntabazinduna where the twins will be laid to rest and the news crew was welcomed by a sombre atmosphere as the family was in the middle of an evening prayer session.

The late twins’ brother Thulani, said they were horrified by the incident as he described his sisters as non-violent people. He also said that what Justin did (killing his sisters) was uncalled for and said that the Mahlaba family has to appease the Zhou ancestors by paying a certain number of cows so that they can do a cleansing ceremony for the departed.

“What usibare (brother-in-law) did is uncalled for. As a family, we are devastated by his actions because my sisters didn’t deserve to die that way. Yes, they might have had a dispute with him but I believe the matter could have been dealt with in a better manner. They were very humble and quiet people as I never saw them fighting or being violent even during our times of growing up. We are at a great loss and for that, the Mahlaba family has to pay something so that we clean this Ngozi (avenging spirit), so that we appease the ancestors and allow our sisters to rest in peace,” said Thulani.

The younger sister to the twins Ottilia, said she could not believe that her sisters were brutally murdered. The twins are said to have each left behind three children.

“I really can’t believe that they are truly gone. I am very heartbroken because my sisters died a painful death. They were non-violent people and I don’t understand what came into my brother-in-law’s mind. We are in pain at the same time this incident has to be a lesson to many to speak out if they have domestic disputes so that issues don’t escalate to the extent of killing each other. We are appealing to the general public to help us in such a difficult time as this incident caught us unaware. We are hoping to bury our sisters on Sunday as their bodies will be repatriated on Saturday. We are asking well-wishers to assist us with what they have. They can contact us on 0784 257 166 or 0772 824 954,” she said. BMetro.

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