With The courage of a lioness, 22 year- old Kutlwano Masilo overcame her fear and opened a case against her alleged rapist.

But the young woman's quest for justice ended in tragedy, after she had been threatened in SMS messages.

For being brave, young Kutlwano in front of her family!

While her mum Madikgang Masilo (42) and a young relative stood by helplessly, Kutlwano was shot eight times at her home in Etwatwa near Dayeyton in Ekurhuleni, allegedly for having reported a case of rape over two years ago.

According to a relative, two armed men abducted her from her house and she was raped. Her testimony was due to be heard in the Benoni Magistrates Court next month.

Madikgang said she was confused when the shots went off.

“The man shot her three times,” she said.

“As she was lying on the ground, he fired five more shots.”

She said the man also fired shots in her direction.

“I ran into the shack and he fled,” said the distraught mum.

Madikgang said she didn’t know who the man was and neither did Kutlwano.

According to relatives, a man arrived last Tuesday wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and flip flops. He was driving a white VW Polo with a Mpumalanga registration plates.

He asked if Kutlwano was home.

After positively identifying her, the man pulled out a gun and started shooting. Kutlwano’s father Thulani Nkosi said when he got to the scene shortly after shots were fired, he hoped his daughter’s life could still be saved at the clinic.

“I organised a car and rushed her to the clinic as I hoped she may still be alive. I was hopeful. But when we got there the doctor told us she had died,” he said.

Only a few days ago a man claiming to be a taxi driver called the dead girl’s mum.

In one recording of a phone call, a man who claimed to be a taxi driver for the father of the man arrested for the rape, gave the mum a terrible warning.

“I’m a taxi driver, I’m driving for the father of the boy who has been arrested,” he said.

“I’m just passing on a message. They are determined to fight with you day and night.”

The voice on the phone warned her to take care of her family.

“Don’t find yourself being shot by taxi people and not knowing what happened,” he said.

“I’m just warning you. I don’t want you to know who I am.”

The distressed mum said she informed the cops about the recording.

Shocked dad Thulani said: “My daughter was a straight talker, ambitious, bubbly and she loved people. We want justice.”

Kutlwano’s neighbour Matlakala Mkwanazi (62) said she was respectful and loved everyone.

“She bought a cupboard for her grandmother and she intended to build a house for her.”

A memorial service was held for Kutlwano at the Healing Centre in Daveyton yesterday.

She will be buried on Saturday.

Residents held a demonstration to show support for the family and demand justice for her death.

Gauteng police spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele said a case of murder was opened.

“There are no arrests so far and the motive for the shooting is currently unknown. Police are still investigating.”