‘He took care of us’ - Family of man killed in taxi violence

2018-06-07 16:53
Thulani Ngubane’s younger brother Phakamani Mchunu (left) and his mother Sibongile Mchunu. The family are demanding justice after Ngubane was killed during a violent shootout at the Masukwana taxi rank.

Thulani Ngubane’s younger brother Phakamani Mchunu (left) and his mother Sibongile Mchunu. The family are demanding justice after Ngubane was killed during a violent shootout at the Masukwana taxi rank. (Nhlanhla Nkosi)

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The bystander killed during a violent shootout at the Masukwana taxi rank last Friday was a man dedicated to looking after his family.

Thulasizwe Ngubane (34) was on his way to visit his family when he was hit by a stray bullet during an exchange of gunfire between security guards linked to Howick’s Zimele Taxi Association and taxi operators at the rank.

The father of one from Smero in Edendale died at the scene. He was a farmworker in New Hanover.

Five security guards appeared at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the shooting.

Ngubane’s mother, Sibongile Mchunu, said the family were informed of his death around 2 pm on Friday and battled to come to grips with what had happened.

Mchunu said Ngubane was the breadwinner and the oldest of five children. He had always worried about his family.

“His care for our family comes from growing up in difficult circumstances. The news of his death came as a shock because we had not seen him in over a month and we were excited that he was coming home to visit.”

Ngubane, who she described as an introvert, was crossing the road to go and withdraw money at Brookside Mall when he was killed.

“I don’t know how we are going to make it through the coming months. Sizwe always made sure he puts food on the table. He would sacrifice everything to ensure that his family was well taken care of.”

She said Ngubane had started saving to rebuild her four-room house.

“That will never happen now … but I don’t blame God. It was his time but I want the police to investigate who fired that fateful shot so we can get justice and closure.”

Ngubane’s younger brother Phakama, described him as his “twin”.

“We did everything together. He was a big Orlando Pirates supporter. I am going to miss watching soccer with him. I don’t even want to think about how life will be now he is gone. It is going to take a long time for me to accept he is gone,” said Phakama.

Phakama said what hurts the family most is that no one from the taxi association has made contact with the family to apologise for the incident. He said the family have made arrangements for the funeral to be held at the weekend.

Ngubane is survived by his three-year-old daughter Misokuhle, his mother and four siblings.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  taxi violence

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