According to her mother, Thembisile, Mbalenhle left home early to submit documents for a bursary application to study Primary Health Care.
“She was a very smart child and was looking forward to furthering her studies,” said Thembisile.
She said her daughter was an exemplary child, who took care of her family. She had recently bought a house in Phoenix, north-west of the city, moving her family there from KwaMashu, north of Durban.
“Mbali helped a lot around the house. She was a respectful child who made us very proud of her by studying and getting a good job. She truly blessed us,” said Thembisile.
Mbalenhle leaves behind her 18-month-old child and two younger siblings.
It was a sombre mood outside Oakford clinic, as the community was still shocked at what happened.
The clinic was closed on Wednesday as all staff were sent home.
Simon Biyela said he was struggling to come to terms with losing his child.
“I am shattered, the family is shattered. I don’t know what to do – I did not expect that I would lose my first child,” said an emotional Simon.
A man, who lives near the clinic, said he was woken by the sound of gunshots.
“When I woke up, everyone in the neighbourhood was already out because we all heard them (the gunshots). Someone called an ambulance, then the police came and, last I heard, she was being rushed to a hospital,” said the witness.
Reaction Unit South Africa medics rushed Mbalenhle to Osindisweni Hospital, where she later died.
Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo condemned the “senseless murder”. “This kind of femicide is happening all too often and asks serious questions, of us as a society, about the value of life,” he said.
Mbalenhle graduated from Charles Johnson Memorial Nursing School in 2013 and had been working as a nurse for more than five years, the Health Department said.
Police said a case of murder was opened at Verulam police station.