Johannesburg - “Our Christmas is completely ruined, but acceptance is important now because there is nothing else.” These were the words of a father shattered by the death of his son at the hands of alleged hijackers.
Jabulani Duma, a metro police officer, was driving in Jabulani, Soweto, in the early hours of on Wednesday morning when he was ambushed and shot four times. Duma was off-duty at the time.
His attackers took his service pistol and Ford Focus after they shot him. They later abandoned the car next to a railway line, close to where Duma was later found on the ground, bleeding.
Metro police spokesman Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said Duma managed to call his parents, who rushed him to hospital. But the 24-year-old man died on the operating table.
With pain etched on his face, Menzi, Duma’s father, described his son as a “quiet and disciplined gentleman”. Menzi, also a police officer, said discipline was something he enforced to steer his family onto the right path.
Duma, he said, was helpful at home, and assisted his parents in taking care of his younger siblings. He joined the metro police at age 19 and never got into trouble. This Saturday, he planned to buy phones and shoes for his siblings.
“If the people who did this were put before me, as a police officer I would say let them face the might of the law. However, as a father I would say an eye for an eye. What I will miss the most about Jabulani is that I knew he was going to be an example to his younger siblings,” he said.
Duma’s friend, Zakes Molefe, has vowed to help in the hunt for the killers. “Wherever I can help, I will, but now it is in the hands of the SAPS. I will keep looking for information, off-duty and on-duty,” he said.
The pair attended metro police college together, and have been inseparable ever since.
This past weekend they went to Duma’s cousin in KwaZulu-Natal. They returned on Tuesday morning.
When they later met, Duma told Molefe he had seen a house in Meadowlands he intended to buy. Their last communication was that evening, when, during the Kaizer Chiefs game, Molefe sent his friend a message telling him that his favourite team was leading 1-0.
Molefe was woken at around 1am, by Duma’s parents, who told him about the shooting.
“I never believed it. The following day I put on my uniform and went to work because I wanted to be part of the people who looked for his hijackers.”