Ntabazinduna Twins Killed in Johannesburg Shooting
12 April 2024
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By Dorrothy Moyo | A heartrending shadow has fallen over the Zhou family of Madlelenyoni, Ntabazinduna, as they grapple with the sudden and brutal loss of twins Samukelisiwe and Attalia Zhou, who were both killed on April 3rd in a horrifying domestic dispute in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Born on August 24, 1983, the twins were celebrated figures in their community, embodying hope and unity. Tragically, their lives were cut short at 41 during a family meeting intended to resolve marital issues between Samukelisiwe and her husband, Justin Mahlaba. The dispute took a lethal turn when Mahlaba, in a fit of rage, fired on the sisters, then himself, turning a session meant for reconciliation into a scene of devastation.

Farai, the twins’ elder brother, described the chilling events, noting that the meeting began with a prayer and heartfelt discussions before spiraling into chaos. Mahlaba’s actions not only ended the lives of the beloved sisters but also left their children motherless, their family bereft, and a community in mourning.

The aftermath at the Zhou family home is somber, with ongoing prayers and preparations for the twins’ return to their final resting place in their birth village. Thulani, another brother, expressed his deep sorrow and disbelief, emphasizing the non-violent nature of his sisters and the injustice of their deaths. He mentioned the cultural expectations of appeasement and cleansing that now fall to the Mahlaba family in light of the tragedy.

Ottilia, the twins’ younger sister, echoed the sentiments of shock and heartache, urging the importance of vocalizing and addressing domestic issues to prevent such tragedies. She made a poignant appeal to the public for support in these difficult times, highlighting the urgent need for assistance with funeral arrangements and the care of the twins’ children.

As the community comes together to support the Zhou family, the profound impact of this tragedy underscores the vital need for addressing domestic violence and supporting those in crisis. The funeral is scheduled for this Sunday, where the twins will be laid to rest in a ceremony filled with both grief and love, as the family, friends, and community members bid farewell to Samukelisiwe and Attalia Zhou.