Friends and colleagues of a Malawian cyclist have started a fund to raise money for his family after he was robbed of his bicycle and shot dead in Dunoon, Cape Town on April 9.
Colleagues of 38-year-old Albert Munthali, who worked as a veterinary assistant at Vet-Clin in Table View, were devastated by his death.
"We were shocked. It's just such a waste of a lovely man," veterinarian Dr Geoffrey Nannucci told News24.
"We have reached out to his immediate family and we have helped [to set up] a fund to raise money to transport Albert's body to Malawi."
Police said that a murder case is being investigated.
"According to reports, five unidentified males in their 20s entered a shop in Dunoon, armed with knives and a firearm," police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said.
"They [took] an undisclosed amount from the shop owner's wife. From there, the suspects robbed all the occupants [of] a block of flats. After the suspects entered a flat occupied by a Malawian male, other occupants heard a gunshot and saw the male running to his friend's flat where he succumbed to injuries [he] sustained."
Former colleague and close friend Dr Melissa Charles said financial donations had been disappointing.
"Everyone at Vet-Clin in Table View made donations to the fund, but there hasn't been a great response," Charles told News24.
Charles got to know Munthali through cycling and assisted him to obtain funding for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in 2013.
"He has a three-year-old daughter named Melissa and he actually named her after me. Why was he killed for a bike?" Charles asked tearfully.
Munthali had a reputation for being an avid cyclist and participated in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in 2014 and 2015 as well. He recently competed in the renamed Cape Town Cycle Tour in 2018.
"He told me it was the greatest achievement of his life," Charles said.
"He never believed Cape Town to be so beautiful and the people lining the streets to be so encouraging, shouting for him to keep going! He told me he was inspired to better his life because of this race."
No arrests have been made.