Dying for a job: Xolani Gumede (29)

2013-02-03 09:59

It was meant to be a job that would change his family’s life for the better.

Gumede’s family and friends rejoiced at the news of him making the cut for the Road Traffic Inspectorate test.

The prospect of a permanent job led him from Manguzi, his home town on the Mozambique border, all the way to Pietermaritzburg.

Gumede’s friend, Sbongiseni Mhlongo, was so happy for him that he lent him his car.

His brother, Sandile Mhlongo, who was with him when he received the SMS to attend the fitness test, told The Witness newspaper that they had been relaxing in a friend’s car, charging Gumede’s phone, at the time.

“We were all happy that he was called for the interview,” he reportedly said, adding that Gumede was going to stay over at his brother’s house in Pietermaritzburg.

His mother, Gertie, said her son was their family’s main breadwinner, taking care of her, his sister and four children – including his own. He held a temporary job working at a pension payout.

“Who will do the things he was doing now?” Gertie asked.

His sister, Angela, described him as a father figure who not only provided for everyone but also protected his family.

Gumede and his friends had planned a trip to Mozambique for the holidays.

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