Hundreds pay last respects to Sithole

2017-03-10 10:58
Slain Richmond municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole’s aunt, Emma Sithole (left), comforts his grieving widow, Masa Sithole, at his memorial in Richmond on Thursday.

Slain Richmond municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole’s aunt, Emma Sithole (left), comforts his grieving widow, Masa Sithole, at his memorial in Richmond on Thursday. (Chelsea Pieterse)

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Pietermaritzburg - Scores of friends, family, colleagues and local residents packed the Richmond Agricultural Hall on Thursday to bid their final goodbyes to the town’s slain municipal manager, Sibusiso Sithole.

Sithole (39) was shot four times by two unknown gunmen while on his way to renew his driver’s licence on Monday morning.

Sithole, who was awarded best municipal manager in the province in 2014, has been described by many who knew him as a “respected man” who was good at his job and fought against corruption within the Richmond Municipality.

The Richmond Agricultural Hall was filled to overflowing as hundreds gathered to pay their last respects to Sithole at the memorial organised by Richmond Municipality.

Work colleagues, ANC comrades, friends, local school pupils and members of the Richmond community celebrated the slain municipal manager’s life and the impact he had made on the town with singing and dancing inside the crowded hall.

Those who were unable to fit inside the hall, lined the outside of the building, hunched over and bundled together for protection from the pouring rain and chilly wind.

Sithole’s weeping wife and daughter, Masa and Luyanda Sithole, were comforted by relatives as colleagues and officials took turns in remembering Sithole’s life while photographs of Sithole were displayed in a slideshow in the background.

KZN ANC secretary Mzi Zuma spoke at the memorial and said it was an opportunity to “celebrate the life of a great man who contributed so greatly to the local municipality”.

Zuma said Sithole’s achievements should be remembered, such as the clean audits returned at the municipality under his leadership.

Zuma also said that there had been a number of violent incidents in Richmond recently and called “for calm and a stable environment”.

He added that there would be a march to the local police station in Richmond today calling for an end to the violence and for Sithole’s murderers to be arrested “with haste”.

Sithole’s funeral will be held at Richmond Primary Scool, 1 Princess Street, on Saturday at 9 am.


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