FOR THE nation, June 16 will forever be remembered as Youth Day.
For the family of Grace Dube it will be remembered as a day of mourning.
IT WAS THE DAY DEATH CAME TO A FUNERAL.
Grace Dube (36) and her friend, Ndondo Ngobese, had taken a taxi to the house in Tsakane, Benoni, Ekurhuleni where the vigil took place.
As they were getting on a bus near the house to take them to the graveyard, the shooting started.
Grace and Ndondo were shot. Ndondo was rushed to Pholosong Hospital but Grace died.
While the reason for the shooting is not yet clear, a witness said there had been shooting in the township during the night.
He said that the attack may have been gang related as people who attended the funeral, according to the witness, allegedly had gang connections.
Sonto Ngwenya (30), a cousin who is also a witness, told Daily Sun as mourners scrambled to safety, she saw Grace lying on the ground groaning in pain.
It was not until she saw blood spurting out that she realised Grace had been shot. She called her relatives who rushed to the scene and Ndondo was taken to hospital.
Sonto said even when she saw Grace lying on the ground she never imagined she would die.
“I cannot believe it. I’m shocked.”
According to Sphiwe Ruiter (47), Grace’s brother-in-law, the gunman was shooting from a moving car.
“Why must guns be fired and people killed at funerals?” he asked.
Lucky Ngwenya (38), Grace’s cousin, said they will remember this day for the wrong reason.
“People celebrate this day in our history, but we will mourn the memory of Grace.”
Busisiwe Nkosi (49), Grace’s aunt, is heartbroken.
“She loved her children and her family. It’s very painful to lose someone like this. When she was on her way to the funeral she couldn’t have dreamed that she would die.”
Nkosinathi Ruiter (46), the father of two of her children, said that Grace was too young to die.
“Her kids are very young. She was supposed to be raising her kids, not going to her grave.”
Captain Mavela Masondo, police spokesman at Tsakane Police Station, said they were investigating a case of murder and attempted murder.
“Two women were shot and one died. After the shooting the driver drove off.”