The untimely death of respected activist, Mthunzi Zuma, has shocked the community of Khayelitsha.
The 40-year-old father of one was shot on the left side of his head just after 7pm on Sunday May 28, in Makhaya, shortly after he left his home to attend a community meeting about land being occupied in the area.
Mr Zuma was immediately rushed to Khayelitsha Day Hospital but he succumbed to his injuries.
Recalling the shooting, residents said an unknown vehicle with three people inside had stopped and two people got out of the car to ask Mr Zuma about the meeting.
They said while Mr Zuma was talking, a third person got out of the vehicle and all the men pulled out guns. Two shots were fired with one hitting Mr Zuma.
Last Friday, June 2, residents and members of Mr Zuma’s Rastafarian community gathered in Makhaya opposite the vacant land where he was killed before marching through the streets of Khayelitsha to express their anger and frustration about the incident.
Mr Zuma was a member of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and was among the people who were at the forefront of the struggle for land in Khayelitsha.
His mother, Lucy Zuma, said her son was a humble person who devoted his life fighting for the betterment of his community.
“The person who killed my son is more than a devil. When he fought for the land he was with people but when he died he was alone. He was pronounced dead at 8.30pm. I always urged him to stop his activism and go back to studying and find work but he refused and said his destiny was to fight for his people.”
A visibly traumatised Ms Zuma said she had just got into bed in her home in Site C when she was alerted by her other children about the sudden death of Mthunzi.
The 74-year-old mother of 10 described her late son as a people’s person and said the reality of his death has not yet sunk in.
Ms Zuma said she and all her children were graduates and Mthunzi was the sixth child.
Mr Zuma’s girlfriend Vuyokazi Bakuza said they had been in a relationship since 2012.
She said he had been passionate about community development during all the years she knew him.
She said on Friday May 26, Mr Zuma and other community members had slept on a vacant plot in the area in an effort to intensify their fight for land in Khayelitsha.
The 28-year-old said the father of her child used to attend seminars at the University of Stellenbosch to talk about the Rastafarian religion and beliefs.
She said even though he was loved by the community, police officers often victimised him and accused him of selling dagga when he was not.
“When I was alerted that he had been shot it was just a few minutes after he left the house to attend a meeting. My life will never be the same without him. Our child will now grow up without a father. I curse the day he was killed,” she said.
Lingelethu West police station spokesperson, Constable Xoliswa Nyalambisa, told Vukani that a case of murder has been opened but they have not yet arrested anyone.
She pleaded with the public to assist the police in apprehending the killers of Mr Zuma and urged them not to take the law into their own hands.