‘She was caught in crossfire, the stray bullet was not meant for her’: Vendor shot dead at mall


In a tragic turn of events, a street vendor in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, lost her life in a stray bullet incident on June 15th. Nonhlanhla Masiya, a 21-year-old vendor from Maputo, Mozambique, was struck by a bullet while selling snacks and cold drinks at the Chris Hani Mall taxi rank.

The shooting occurred in a busy area frequented by taxi drivers, passengers, and other vendors. Eyewitness Takale Mawuse (31), another vendor, recounted the chaotic scene.

“When the gunmen opened fire, everyone scattered. They targeted the taxi driver, shooting him several times as he fled towards where Nonhlanhla was seated. Unfortunately, she was caught in the crossfire, and the stray bullet was not meant for her.”

Nonhlanhla, who relied on her sales to support her daughter living with her parents back in Maputo, was declared dead at the scene along with the taxi driver, who had been shot multiple times. The Ekurhuleni police confirmed the incident and stated that no arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.

The tragic loss of Nonhlanhla has left the vendor community in Vosloorus traumatized and scared, but they have resumed their work, as it is their only source of income. Takale shared that the vendors have started a fundraising initiative to collect R10,000 to transport Nonhlanhla’s body back to Maputo. So far, they have raised R1,200 through donations from the supportive community.

Nonhlanhla’s elder brother, Carlos Maluleke, expressed his grief, stating that he had spoken to her earlier that day, and she was happy. Her boyfriend, Michael Masina, was heartbroken, recounting how Nonhlanhla loved her job and was eager to sell her products.

This tragic incident has once again highlighted the vulnerability faced by street vendors and the need for increased safety measures and security in such public areas. As the community mourns the loss of Nonhlanhla, they also hope that the investigation will lead to the apprehension of those responsible for this senseless act of violence.

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