MARIA HEARD her nephew’s cries for help and rushed into the street. When she saw that he was being attacked she called for him to come inside, but the attackers turned on her instead. MARIA SAVED THE YOUNG MAN, BUT IT COST THE BRAVE WOMAN HER LIFE. The brutal battle started when Maria Mkhonza (49) from Winterveld, Tshwane was in her yard on Saturday evening. She heard her mentally ill nephew, Thapelo Mkhonza, screaming for help.Maria saw about six men beating up her 30-year-old nephew.Maria called out to Thapelo and he came running to the safety of her house. But the attackers weren’t finished.They followed him into the yard and while Maria was trying to protect Thapelo, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot her.Neighbour Katlego Nkhonjela (25) told Daily Sun they don’t know why the men were attacking Thapelo.“We don’t know who they are or what he did to them, but when Maria saw what was happening, she called Thapelo to come home. But the group of men followed him into the yard.” She said the attackers ran away after the shooting.“We rushed to Maria’s house and called the ambulance but she died in hospital,” she said.Maria’s brother, Moleseng Mkhonza (55), told Daily Sun on Wednesday that they were heartbroken and angry about what happened.“Every day people get murdered. The criminals go to jail today and tomorrow they are out on the streets again. They must bring back the death sentence.”He said his sister was a humble person.“She didn’t deserve to die like this,” he said.ANC deputy chairman of the ward, Sam Masango (48) said there is a lot of crime in the area. “Now an innocent woman has died trying to protect her nephew,” he said.“The people are not safe here. They are terrorized.”He said they always report what happens in the area but the police don’t do anything. “We are neglected,” he said.He supported Maria’s brother’s view on the death sentence.“We must stand together. We don’t want to take the law into our own hands but one day we may be forced to do so,” he said.Loate police spokesman Captain Samuel Sebola said a case of attempted murder was opened with them but now that the woman had died, it would be changed to murder.“This will indeed be a murder case that is investigated. At the moment, no suspect has been arrested. Police are continuing their investigation into the matter,” he said.
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