The wife of the late Sergeant Buyiselo Bomvana, broke down in tears as her husband’s eulogy was delivered to a packed JL Zwane Centre Hall, in Gugulethu, on Thursday July 20.
Sergeant Bomvana, who was stationed at Gugulethu police station, passed away on Monday July 10, while cooling down after a police training session. He collapsed and died on the spot.
On Thursday mourners packed the hall to commemorate his life. But for his wife and children it was all too overwhelming as they constantly battled to hold back tears.
Speakers shared their memories of the “gentle Ntsumpa”, as he was known. They described him as a true leader and as someone who was easy to work with.
His friends shared how he always set high goals and worked hard to achieve them.
Some described him as a great achiever, an outspoken man with integrity, a go-getter, an incorruptible policeman and a loving person.
Colleagues also remembered Sergeant Bomvana, who was born in 1975, as a comedian who loved his work and was always willing to go beyond the call of duty.
Constable James Chibukwe said he was always doing more than he had to.
“He was my field trainer. He showed how a SAPS member should behave. He was very outspoken and could offend you if you are weak. He would sympathise with you in a gentle way. One time I was robbed in my police tracksuit, and all he said to encourage me to be strong is, James sukuba yinkazana, qina,” he said.
Constable Chibukwe said since then he would do things to show and prove to Sergeant Bomvana that he was strong.
“He made a big contribution to my life and that of others. Many people thought we were from the same area, but when they hear my accent they realised that I was from north. That is how close we were. Let’s us celebrate his life,” Constable Chibukwe said.
Constable Kokoti Cele said Sergeant Bomvana liked to lead.
“That is why he had so many names, Ntsumpa, The Igwe, and many other names. He always wanted to lead. I used to tell him in the SAPS there are no chiefs because he would claim to be one.
“He wanted us to respect him because he was a chief. But he was a good educator. He always told me never to steal. He would tell you straight that stealing and involving yourself in corrupt acts would cost you your job. He was someone who liked to joke and loved songs, he liked to sing,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Manelisi Ndikholo, a Tactical Response Team commander, said no one would ever fill the gap left by Sergeant Bomvana.
He said his death came as a surprise. “It is a great loss to us. He was an easy guy to manage. His family gave us a good human being. He had a funny way of expressing himself. SAPS has lost a valuable member,” he said.
The sweet stories lifted the mourner’s spirits. They sang, danced, ululated a little, as they remembered the man they knew, respected, trusted and loved.