The family of former SA’s Got Talent winner James Bhemgee is heartbroken and living in fear following the murder of two relatives within weeks of each other.
The opera tenor’s sister was shot and killed on Saturday, just three weeks after his son was also gunned down.
South African audiences fell in love with the former street sweeper from Mitchells Plain with the voice of an angel, which resulted in him winning 2010’s SA’s Got Talent.
Bhemgee says his sister was murdered just before 6am at her home in Inkblom Street in Kalksteenfontein.
Cynthia Oosthuizen, 54, was shot when armed men opened fire from outside the house.
She was shot in the head while trying to unlock the door.
Three weeks ago Bhemgee’s son, Nigel Godongo, was also killed in the area, allegedly by skollies.
Bhemgee says he is traumatised by the killings.
“This is a terrible thing to have happened, I trust justice will prevail and that people will see that there is no sense in (seeking) revenge,” he told the Weekend Argus.
“My sister was a good person, who liked helping other people and being involved in the community.
“We need the police to step up and not only make arrests but make sure those people stay in jail because today you kill someone and tomorrow you are out and doing it again and that is what makes Kalksteenfontein,” he said.
Cynthia’s sister, Lauretta Seselie, 50, who was in the house at the time, said her son was dropped off at home by her nephew, who later came into the house and reported seeing three men loitering outside.
SHOT: Cynthia Oosthuizen
“My sister went to look and saw the three boys that she named, and then suddenly gunshots went off and she fell on the ground after she was hit right through the head,” Lauretta explained.
“We held her as she lay there dying. Just a few minutes before that, she made me coffee and we were talking and laughing and now she’s dead.”
Although the family is unclear on what could have led to Cynthia’s death, Nigel’s mother Xoliswa Godongo believes ongoing gang rivalry in the area is to blame for his murder.
Xoliswa said her son, a reformed gangster, was home for less than two months after serving 10 years in jail and was determined to ensure peace in the area.
“I won’t pretend to know what they are fighting about because I’m not a gangster, but this thing has been going on for years and years and it will not stop here.
“They’ll shoot us all and it will still go on and on,” the heartbroken mom said.
Police spokesperson, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, said the Anti-Gang Unit had arrested two suspects for Cynthia’s shooting.
“Two men, aged 23 and 36, were arrested and once charged, they will appear in the Bishop Lavis Magistrates’ Court,” she said.