Nqobile Tshili/Mashudu Netsianda, Chronicle Reporters
TWO Bulawayo brothers who were savagely tortured before being executed in South Africa recently were yesterday buried on the outskirts of Bulawayo as police in the neighbouring country announced that one person had been arrested in connection with their deaths.
Sydney (41) and Edmore Gwatsvaira (37), who had changed their surname to Ncube, are said to have been running a flourishing transport company which operated buses and trucks in South Africa.
They were buried yesterday at Umvutshwa Private Cemetery.
However, new details emerged yesterday that before engaging in legitimate businesses they were hard-core criminals and were arrested locally for armed robbery and carjacking.
The brothers were reportedly kidnapped by unknown assailants almost a month ago in Johannesburg before their bodies were dumped in Mpumalanga. The bodies were found nearly two weeks ago.
The Chronicle news visited their family residence in West Somerton suburb yesterday afternoon with the intention of speaking to their relatives as information regarding their death remains sketchy.
Their brother who only identified himself as Mr Washington, also based in South Africa, declined to comment on circumstances leading to his siblings death.
“I can’t speak to you at the moment. I guess no one else would. What you can do is take my WhatsApp number and send me a message later during the week maybe
I will be able to respond to your questions,” said Mr Washington, who was putting on a T-shirt with an inscription “RIP Game Changer.”
The T-shirt has a photograph of the duo.
Several other people were also wearing similar T-shirts and most of the mourners were from an apostolic sect.
A neighbour who declined to be named said as residents who knew the family they are shocked that the pair was considered as businessmen and not in jail.
“We know that the two brothers are well known criminals in the country who were involved in serious crimes. We thought that they are supposed to be in jail but we got shocked to learn that they were in South Africa.
“They were once arrested for armed robbery and carjacking crimes.
Maybe their death is related to their past life or what they were doing,” said the neighbour.
Sydney was, sometime in October 2003, arrested together with Gilson Mutembedza, Leroy Pita and Neil Charles for allegedly stealing a Mitsubishi Pajero in Harare. Mutembedza had around the same time allegedly been involved in a P672 164 robbery of the Bank of Baroda in Gaborone.
In July 2012, Sydney, said to be 40 at the time, was arrested at a prayer session in Marondera and fined $100 for entering the country using a passport bearing a Mozambican national’s name. He was sentenced to the fine or two months in prison for entering the country illegally and using a fake travel document.
The passport had the name Fernando Paulo Mula and Sydney’s photograph.
Meanwhile, South African police have arrested Sipho Mthethwa in connection with the duo’s kidnapping.
Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the suspect will appear in court today.
“A suspect is due to make a second appearance on 25 July 2019 before the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, following his arrest in connection with the alleged disappearance of two brothers who were reported missing at Moffatview Police Station on 28 June 2019,” said Brig Peters.
The suspect was arrested on July 4, 2019 after a family member recognised a car belonging to one of the missing men being sold on social media, and contacted the police.
She said police are not at liberty to divulge further detail as the case investigated by Moffatview SAPS is now before the court.
Brig Peters said police are investigating circumstances leading to the brothers’ death.
She said cops were not ruling out that the suspect arrested for their kidnapping could have been involved in their murder as well.
“Meanwhile, police are investigating the circumstances behind the death of two victims whose bodies were found on a plot in Delmas, Mpumalanga. Police were informed about the bodies on 11 July 2019 and were able to confirm with the assistance of family members, that the deceased were indeed the two victims that had been reported missing at Moffatview in Johannesburg,” she said.
“Further investigation is underway to determine whether the suspect arrested for kidnapping could also be behind the murder of the two victims.”
A source said the two brothers were tortured and shot in their heads.
Edmore was shot three times while Sydney had a single bullet wound. — @nqotshili