Durban man shot dead while holding his baby

Several stray bullets have struck the family’s home during previous shootings.

A father of two was shot and killed in Wentworth, Durban shortly after asking a group of fighting teenagers outside his house to move out of fear for his children’s safety. It is suspected that the murder was committed by a teenage gang member.

Sifiso Brian Kunene spoke to the group through the window of his home in Hime Street flats on May 15. While he was still holding his five-month-old baby girl, the door of his house was kicked open and he was shot in the chest.

Kunene fell to the ground while still holding his daughter. It is suspected that he is the latest victim in a gang war in Wentworth that has claimed many innocent lives.

His partner, whose identity will be withheld due to safety reasons, says their seven-year-old son bore witness to his father asking the boys to move their fight somewhere else if they would not stop for the sake of his children.

“There are bullet holes inside our home due to stray bullets from previous shootings and we lived in fear. Sifiso was afraid that if the boys started shooting right outside the door of our home, our children could be hurt or killed. He had asked them to move but they argued and then opened the door and shot him, even though he had a baby in his arms.

“I am heartbroken that both my children witnessed their father being killed in such a violent way. Sifiso was a good man and a reliable father and husband. He worked hard in the security industry and held a job as a DJ to provide for us. Nothing will ever be the same again,” says Kunene’s bereaved partner.

Wentworth community youth leader Celeste King assisted Kunene’s family who fled from their home after the incident.

ALSO READ: Wentworth residents to hand over memorandum for police to address gang violence

“The family is in distress and severely traumatised. They are afraid to go back home. They have reported that stray bullets have landed in their home on many occasions and have asked the relevant departments, as well as the councillor, to assist in moving them to a different flat.

“They wanted to move desperately and lived in fear after a stray bullet missed hitting their seven-year-old son who was inside their flat recently, but their cries fell on deaf ears. Now they will have to face the pain of burying a loved one after this heinous crime.

“It is blatantly obvious that urgent interventions are needed in Wentworth. Amid all the unaddressed and unspoken social ills and challenges, the youth are a very vulnerable group of people who fall through the cracks [and end up involved in] gang violence. We have a lost a generation of people in our community, and we need to act as a matter of urgency to create a change.

“Poverty has riddled our community and youth are being sucked into gangs by material things that their parents cannot afford. They need to wake up and see how it is affecting them. Young lives are being taken by bullets and youngsters are taking the lives of innocent people.

King was instrumental in handing a memorandum to Wentworth police to get authorities to clamp down on gang violence in the area,

Community leader, Tracey Williams, says her concern is the trauma children living in a crime ridden community have to endure.

“To see your father being killed is something that will affect children for the rest of their lives. Innocent people are dying in front of their children at the hands of youngsters. Families are being forced to live in fear or flee. Parents have lost power and control of their children. A joint intervention from various authorities and organisations is needed,” Williams adds.

A comment from Wentworth police could not be obtained at the time of publishing.

Kunene will be laid to rest this weekend.

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