Emotional farewell for Gasa

“IN time we will know the motive behind this brutal murder of Father.”

Those were the words of Mbali Ngqula, eldest daughter of slain Durban tycoon Nhlanhla Gasa, at his memorial service at St Faith’s Anglican Church in Durban yesterday.

Gasa, a wealthy Umhlanga businessman, was found dead in the Tugela River near Stanger last week. He had been stabbed to death.

His luxury Jaguar car was found burnt out. Residents in the area called the police after finding his corpse in the water.

Police said bloodstains were found in his Umhlanga home, which led to the conclusion that he had been killed at his house and his body taken to the river.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge said Gasa was home alone at the time of the murder.

No arrests have yet been made.

The memorial service was attended by politicians, businesspeople and government officials from around the country.

Gasa was politically connected and benefited from his directorship of a company linked to the country’s controversial arms deal.

He had also been chairperson of Absa and Umgeni Water, among other organisations.

Among the mourners at yesterday’s service were Durban businessmen Don Mkhwanazi and Sifiso Zulu, who was recently released from prison, and Khaya Ngqula, a former SAA chief executive. Ngqula is married to Gasa’s daughter, Mbali.

Mourners spoke highly of the murdered tycoon.

His children described him as a loving and caring parent who was involved in almost every aspect of their lives.

Said Mbali: “He was there at every gala and every sports day to cheer us on. When I saw the blood in the house I was just shocked and felt pain thinking about how my dad died such a brutal death.

“We are confident of the justice system. The law must take its course and we will not accept any other form of retribution.”

Mkhwanazi, considered the pioneer of black economic empowerment and a close associate of Gasa, said he was dumbfounded and devastated and filled with anger. He described Gasa’s murder as brutal and sadistic.

South Africa was the biggest loser as it had lost an entrepreneur with “unsurpassed business acumen” and a leadership void had been created as a result of Gasa’s death.

He said he would leave no stone unturned to find the killers.

Gasa will be buried at St Stephens Emthonjeni Anglican Church in Ulundi tomorrow.

He is survived by his children, Nonhlanhla, Mbali, Angile and Nompumelelo, and wife Sinenhlanhla.

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