Nonku and Wandile share the house. Nonku is furthering her studies – she puts food on the table. But Wandile has given up on school and is still going to the club. She has met Nlhlanhla, a married man, and he gives her the drugs now, he is a dealer. Max and Mzi are a thing of the past.

In Wandile’s drugged mind she thinks that  Nhlanhla will leave his wife for her. She believes he will leave his family if she can get the house. They can live together.  There is one problem, Nonku. Wandile tells Nhlanhla of the house. She tells him she doesn’t know what to do about Nonku. How can they get her to leave so they can be together. And she is sick of Nonku’s preaching.

Wandile is out of the house, she has gone to the shops, when the white Toyota Conquest with tinted windows slides up to the gate and Nhlanhla and his drug dealer crew get out. He saunters up the path and knocks on the door.

There is no answer but they kick the door down.

Nonku is so startled she drops the tea cup in her hand and stands as still as a statue when she sees the two men burst through the door and point their guns at her.

Six gunshots ring out. Two bullets hit her face, four riddle her chest. She crumples to the floor and dies instantly. Nhlanhla and his friend make a swift getaway. Neighbours flood to Wandile’s home after a few minutes.

They find Nonku dead in the kitchen. There’s blood everywhere. One of the bullets went through her chest and tore the bible she had open on the coffee table into a thousand pieces.

“When it is your day it is truly your day,” says MaKheswa, their neighbour and church secretary, through tears. “I had called Nonku just thirty minutes ago to come with us to pray for a sickly child. She said she couldn’t come because she had a runny tummy. Who could kill such an angel of a child?”

Wandile returns to find police vans parked on the road, their blue lights flashing.  She sees Nhlanhla’s car and her heart drops. Her words ring out clearly in her mind ‘If she was gone…’ to Nhlanhla but she didn’t mean for this.

Neighbours are on the road, kept at bay by yellow police tape.

“Where were you when all of this happened?” asks Detective Zuma when Wandile finally calms down.

“I was . . . I went to the shops,” says Wandile.

“What did you buy at the shops? Did anyone see you there?”

“Airtime. The cashier. She knows me. What happened? Where is Nonku… ”

Wandile’s heart beats with one loud thud. She has a terrible feeling. When they bring Nonku’s body out she knows who has done this and that she is to blame.

The police check her alibi and the cashier confirms she was there. Nobody came forward in the crowd with information. But MaMthethwa, Wandile’s next door neighbour, saw what happened.  She was bringing in clothes from the washing line when she saw two men kick in the door. She heard the gunshots and saw the same men get in a white car and speed off. She has seen the one man before, he is Wandile’s boyfriend. She waits for an hour before she dials the police station. She is scared to come forward with what she saw. What if these men find out she is a witness and come back to kill her? They are gangsters. But she can’t do nothing. Her conscience wins over her fear of being killed.

“Hello, my child. I am the next door neighbour to the house where the young woman was shot tonight,” says MaMthethwa.

“Yes, mam. How can I help you?” says Detective Zuma.

“I saw something before and after I heard gunshots.”

“Okay, mam,” Detective Zuma quickly grabs his notebook and pen. “What did you see?”

“I was bringing in clothes from the washing line. I saw two men kick in the door. I heard gunshots. Two men came out of the house running. They had guns in their hands. One was Wandile’s boyfriend. I think his name is Nhlanhla he drove a white hatchback. It didn’t have a number plate,” says MaMthethwa.

“Thank you very much, ma. I’ll need you to come down to the station so I can take a proper statement,” says Detective Zuma.

“I’d like to remain anonymous, my child. I’m scared of those killers. What if they find out I was speaking to the police?” MaMthethwa drops the call. ‘I think I have seen that car before parked there. I have seen Wandile…” she stops.

The police call Wandile in again and this time she tells them everything.


Tell us: Do you think Wandile is to blame for Nonku’s death?