#JusticeForCindy: ‘Our hearts are broken,’ says family of woman found shot in her car

20 August 2021 - 17:41
By iavan pijoos AND Iavan Pijoos
Sindisiwe Mnguni's life was cut short when she was shot in Midrand on August 11, allegedly by a man she knew.
Image: Supplied Sindisiwe Mnguni's life was cut short when she was shot in Midrand on August 11, allegedly by a man she knew.

She loved to dance and sing songs with her daughter, but all that remains now are broken hearts and a river of tears — and a family who will never see her infectious smile or hear her voice again.

All the family of Sindisiwe Mnguni can do now is pick up the pieces. 

Mnguni’s life was cut short last week when she was shot dead in Midrand.

Police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo said a motorist spotted a vehicle parked on the corner of Mushroom and Allandale Roads on August 11.

“He went to check what was happening and he realised that there was a woman in the driver’s seat. He realised that there might be something wrong and called the police,” Masondo said.

The police found the woman had a gunshot wound to the upper body. “The paramedics also arrived and declared her dead.”

Masondo said a suspect was arrested on the morning of August 12.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed that Hasan Hasan appeared in the Alexandra magistrate's court on August 16 in connection with the incident. The matter was postponed to August 23. Hasan has been charged with murder.

Mnguni's uncle Sipho Dlangalala, who was called to the crime scene by a friend, told TimesLIVE it was one of the hardest things he has had to do.

“When we were told that she was shot, I was just hoping that she was alive and might have just been injured. But arriving on the scene and looking at her lying on the ground and covered with that silver foil, I got so upset. I asked myself how a person could do something like this,” he said.

Dlangalala said his niece was still in her pyjamas and her cellphone and handbag were in the vehicle. “We quickly realised that it didn’t look like an attempted hijacking or robbery because nothing was taken from her,” he said.

Dlangalala called their family in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, to ask for the password to unlock Mnguni’s phone.

“I tried using her birthday date but I saw that we were going to block the phone. Her daughter, who was very close to her mother and shared everything together, gave us the password and we were able to unlock it.”

They noticed from her call log that she had several missed calls. Dlangalala said Mnguni had known Hasan.

Messages revealed that Mnguni had sent somebody an entrance code to her complex between 4pm and 5pm on the day of the murder, he said.

“We took that time and went to look at the surveillance cameras with the police ... and we were able to pick up when [a suspect] arrived at the complex. That very same vehicle we saw entering was coming out at around 6.24pm following Sindi, who was driving in her own car. The vehicle exited on the visitors' gate and Sindi on the tenants' gate. We further went up to the last camera in the road and saw that the car was driving in front and Sindi was behind.”

This is believed to be the last time Mnguni was seen alive.

Dlangalala said they found a plate with a piece of cake and fork at her apartment. “But you could see that whoever was eating that cake, that person only took two bites.

“When we spoke to her friends, they'd had an in-house party on the Tuesday. She had a couple of friends over and they had cake that Sindi bought, which she shared with whoever was visiting there the Wednesday.”

Dlangalala said Mnguni lost her mother at a very young age and was raised by her grandmother. The 29-year-old had her own company which sold beauty products online.

“We will miss her support. Whether it was financially or emotionally, Sindi was always willing to help everyone in the family.”

He said her grandmother and daughter were taking her death the hardest.

“When we were offloading Sindi’s belongings I had collected at her flat, she [the daughter] broke down. I think she couldn’t believe what the family told her before, but it became a reality when she saw her mother’s things.

“My wife had to take her and calm her down. We decided that before the body arrives, we want to take her to the doctor because we just want to make sure she is OK.”

Dlangalala said Mnguni’s body was expected to arrive on Friday afternoon. She will be laid to rest in Newcastle on Saturday.