GOGO bought her washing machine three years ago.

And she used it to do her washing every Thursday.

But this time gogo found herself using the machine for something weird.

The grateful 60-year-old gogo from Spooktown squatter camp in Bekkersdal, west of Joburg, said she was asleep when she heard people fiddle with the lock.

“It was a matter of life and death. Two armed thugs were trying to remove a lock from my shack and were about to get inside.

“I immediately jumped out of bed to try to do something to save my life. I was not going to die without putting up a fight,” she said.

She said she tried to get her whistle to alert her neighbours, but she couldn’t find it as it was dark. So she pushed her washing machine behind a door to block it.

Gogo Mmakereke Nzimande was saved by her washing machine. Photo by Sammy Moretsi Photo by

Gogo Mmakereke Nzimande, who lives alone, then switched on the machine to scare off the thugs.

When thugs heard the noise, gogo imagined they thought it was a kettle and that she was boiling water to cook them.

Gogo Mmakereke Nzimande was saved by her washing machine. Photo by Sammy Moretsi Photo by

So they fired two shots in the air before fleeing.

“I was shaking and lay on the floor so not to be hit by stray bullets. I finally heard footsteps as they were leaving,” said gogo.

Gogo Mmakereke Nzimande was saved by her washing machine. Photo by Sammy Moretsi Photo by

“I use the whistle when I’m in danger and I was scared when I couldn’t find it. I thought it was the end of my life.”

Although gogo Mmakereke couldn’t sleep after the incident, she said she had her washing machine to thank for saving her.

“I don’t know how the idea to use the washing machine came about. I think it’s my angels who gave me wisdom,” she said.

Gogo said when she opened the door in the morning, she found that the thugs had broken the lock.

She said that she has now asked her son, who lives in Randfontein, to come live with her. Neighbours said they heard the gunshots.

“It was risky to come out because I could have been shot,” said neighbour Hosea Ngovheni (45).

Another neighbour, Yolanda Mtase (38), said: “We didn’t sleep after that because we fear for our lives. Crime is high in this area.”

Residents have since rallied around gogo to protect her.

“We are disturbed about what happened to gogo,” said a resident Njabulo Mkhwanazi (51).

“We are terrorised by thugs in this area, but we are going to get them one day,” said another resident Evelyn Mogashoa (33).

The gogo didn’t open a case.

Sergeant Linkie Lefakane of Bekkersdal Police Station advised gogo to open a case.