It was around 7.30pm when Bulelani parked his car in the garage. He got out and took his leather briefcase from the boot. The lights were off inside the house. He unlocked the front door and searched for the light switch. It took him a few seconds to find it in the dark. As he switched it on he saw the man. He had a gun aimed at Bulelani’s head. Before Bulelani could do anything, a bullet went through his neck. A second bullet hit his forehead and he fell to the floor with a thud.

The gunman pulled the curtain open an inch and looked out into the dark. When he was satisfied that no-one was outside, he opened the door and walked out to a white VW Golf that was parked a few blocks away.

One of Bulelani’s neighbours had heard shots, and looked out. He saw the man heading up the street, looking suspicious, with his hoodie pulled down over his face. The neighbour watched the man as he got into his car and drove off. He went to knock on the nearest door, calling for support. Minutes later a group had gathered at the gate of Bulelani’s house. Someone had dialled 10111. It didn’t take long for the police to arrive.

The police officers went through the gate with their firearms drawn, calling for whoever was inside to show themselves. When no-one responded they kicked the door open. There they found the lifeless body of Bulelani on the floor. One of them stayed with his body while the others checked the other rooms in the house. There was nobody there.

The forensic team was called in and then the body was taken to the morgue. They searched for evidence left behind that could help identify the perpetrator. Nothing seemed to have been taken from the house and there were no signs of forced entry. Bulelani’s cellphone, wallet and keys were still in his pocket.

The team noticed a single Yale key on the table, no keyring. Taking care not to contaminate the item, one of the crime scene investigators inserted the key in the front door lock and, holding just the edges, twisted it to see if it worked. It did! The key was taken in as evidence, along with Bulelani’s bunch of keys and his cellphone.

Bulelani’s wife, Nosiphiwo, was only tracked down hours later. She was in tears and hysterical when she entered the house. “What happened? Tell me what’s going on. I deserve to know; this is my house. Where is my husband?” She smelled of alcohol.

The policeman tried to calm her down as they drove to the police station and then to the mortuary.

“Oh! Bulelani. No! this can’t be true. Baby, you can’t leave me like this. Oh, Bawo!” Nosiphiwo screamed, and then burst into tears when she saw her husband’s body lying on the mortuary table.

“We met at university,” she told the policewoman who was trying to comfort her. “He was my first love.”


Tell us: If not theft, what could be a motive for this murder?