Zimbabwean murdered in SA: Family speaks out

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter
The mother of a Zimbabwean national Elvis Nyathi who was killed by a vigilante group in South Africa yesterday said it will be difficult to find closure following the manner her son was murdered.

Nyathi (41) was callously killed by a vigilante group in Diesploot on Wednesday night last week. They viciously beat him and later necklaced him with an old tyre before setting it alight. He was burnt beyond recognition. No arrests have been made so far.

Nyathi whose remains arrive today in the country will be laid to rest at Mvutshwa Cemetery tomorrow after a church service at Brethren in Christ Church in New Lobengula. President Mnangagwa accorded Nyathi a State-assisted funeral.

Speaking to Chronicle last night in Nkulumane 12 where mourners are gathered, the late Nyathi’s mother Ms Sithembile Sibanda yesterday said it will take her a very long time to find closure, if ever, on the tragic event.

“I don’t know why they killed my son. Elvis just wanted to fend for his family and was doing so legally. Now my son is no more and I won’t even be able to see his body yet he left Zimbabwe alive. He has left behind three little kids and a wife. What did I do to deserve this?” said a visibly distraught Ms Sibanda.

She thanked the President for the State-assisted funeral.“We are very grateful to the President for what he has done for us. It takes a huge load from our shoulders,” said Ms Sibanda.

In South Africa a moving funeral service was held at the Underground Hillbrow Theatre yesterday where speaker after speaker tore into the militant Operation Dudula leader Nhlanhla Lux, who is believed to have incited a section of South Africans to turn against migrants claiming that they were taking their jobs and also involved in criminal activities.

A representative of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said they did not believe that a black African in South Africa was a foreigner.

“The real foreigners are the whites but the likes of Nhlanhla Lux are failing to confront them, instead they run after a mere gardener,” said the representative who was clad in EFF regalia.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mphathi Ndlovu, a cousin to the late Nyathi, said as a family they were deeply saddened by the demise of their kin.

“We are not a vengeful family but we are saddened, Elvis was a man of peace, a simple guy, leaving a simple life. We do not believe that this was done by the generality of South Africans but it’s just an act of a single individual who must somehow be dealt with,” said Ndlovu.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr. Misheck Sibanda announced that the President had granted a State-assisted funeral to Nyathi.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Nyathi’s killing was worse than what the apartheid regime did, describing it as immoral, racist, and criminal.

He said South Africa should be home to everyone as enshrined in the Freedom Charter in 1955, whose principles were incorporated in the South African constitution which declared that South Africa belongs to all who live in it as it sought to create a society free from ethnic chauvinism, tribalism, racism, and sexism.

Meanwhile, the Council for Churches in Africa (CCA) welcomed Government’s decision to accord Nyathi a State-assisted funeral.

It said President Mnangagwa’s decision was a true definition of contemporary leadership that Africa needs and a signal of caring Governments.

In a statement, CCA said the assistance has come as a relief to the families, relatives, friends, and other authorities who had faced difficulties in the repatriation of the late Nyathi’s remains.

“As indigenous churches’ representative body in the African continent, we urge all our affiliate churches and partners to assist the Governments from which we operate, so that their duties and services to the citizens will be realised.

Zimbabwean Government set a good example by extending such a gesture during this period when the bereaved need assistance,” said the CCA.

The continental churches’ organisation condemned the attack on fellow African brothers and sisters which is against the principles and values of Ubuntu which indigenous churches have advocated since time immemorial.

“Africa needs to unite in the same spirit that churches endeavor to bridge the gaps of divisions, and as CCA’s department of Regional Justice, Peace and Conflict Resolution Affairs, we will strive to use the resources that we have in making sure that peace will become a reality in some sections rather than rhetoric.

“ We also seek to remove the narratives which seek to divide our indigenous churches in preaching peace. Hate speech and violence remain the major problems in Africa and as churches, we will strive to preach peace and craft initiatives that seek to unite than divide,” said CCA.

Article Source: The Chronicle

Enjoyed this post? Share it!