Untimely death of local ‘Malala’

2018-10-26 06:01
Vusumzi Mhlawuli whose body was found on Monday.

Vusumzi Mhlawuli whose body was found on Monday.

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VUSUMZI Mhlawuli (27), popularly known as “Malala”, from Horseshoe Township, was a breadwinner, caring and had a sense of humour, said his sister Nomzingisi Mhlawuli when she spoke to the Fever six hours after his body was found lying in the Umzintlava River by a local fisherman on Monday morning.

When his body was found, community members allegedly burnt six houses in Horseshoe which were not far from his home. They also closed a local grocery store where he worked, but the SAPS fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

Streets in Horseshoe were also blocked with heavy rocks and burning tyres as residents demanded justice.

The grieving family said Mhlawuli had a five-year-old son and his money was spent on providing food for his seven siblings. He obtained his matric certificate in 2016, but because of lack of money, he didn’t further his studies.

“He was the source of income in the family,” said Nomzingisi.

On October 5, he left home with a man who was known to him, and didn’t return home.

His family and community members searched for him around the village but were unsuccessful.

A local man who was accused by community members of knowing his whereabouts, was rescued by SAPS from the angry crowd.

“He [Mhlawuli] was a humble, innocent man and had never caused a fight in the area. Whoever is involved in his murder must rot in jail,” said his aunt Zanela Miya.

“A case of murder was opened at Kokstad Police Station after the body of a man was found in the river on October 15. He was identified by family members as the same person who was reported missing on October 5, and an investigation is under way,” said SAPS KwaZulu-Natal provincial spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.

She confirmed the protest at the local store by community members and said no damages were reported.

“We did receive information that more than five houses were set alight but no one has come to open cases at this stage. We appeal to the home owners to come forward and open cases for investigation.”

Mhlawuli’s funeral is to be held at Bhongweni Youth Centre on October 21.

A postmortem to establish the cause of death was expected to be conducted on October 18 and results were not available at the time of going to press.

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