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‘I can’t believe he died for a lift’

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Thami Nhliziyo was on his way home when a security guard shot him after he refused to pay more than R50 for a lift.

Johannesburg - Thami Nhliziyo was on his way home when a security guard shot and killed him after he refused to pay more than R50 for a lift.

Nhliziyo - who was also known as Mampintsha, after the popular Big NUZ kwaito singer, because of his big frame - had just finished working as a DJ at a pub at The Boulders Shopping Centre in Midrand when he was killed on Sunday morning. Nhliziyo worked as a part-time DJ on weekends.

His half-sister Nomsa Nhliziyo said: “A friend who was with him when he was shot told us that after they knocked off at work, they stopped a security guard and asked him for a lift.

“He said Thami offered to pay the security guard R50 because he was driving a company car. The guard insisted that they must pay more because R50 is too little for two people.

“That’s when my brother told the guard to stop and he jumped out. That’s when he shot and killed my brother, just for refusing to pay more than R50,” said Nomsa.

Devastated, she said: “This is so tragic, I still want to know why Thami was killed. I just can’t believe he died for a lift. I went to a police station to get more details about the shooting. The whole family are taking his death very hard.”

Speaking to The Star, Nhliziyo’s fiancée, Maria Mafu, said she received an SMS from him at about 11pm on Saturday, saying he was on his way home. That was the last time she heard from him.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, Mafu became concerned that Nhliziyo was taking too long to get home.

“I tried calling him on his phone around 3am but I could not get through. I phoned a friend who was with him and the phone was answered by the cops, and they asked me for my address.

“At that stage I did not think he was dead. I just thought maybe he had been arrested,” she said.

Mafu said she was shocked when police arrived at her home and informed her that Nhliziyo had been shot and killed. Nhliziyo lived in Midrand with his fiancée.

“They told me they have arrested a security guard who shot him. I was overcome by emotions.

“I pleaded with the police to take me to the scene. I wanted to see his body and see if it was really him. When we arrived at the scene, the body had already been loaded into the mortuary van and I was not allowed to see him,” she said.

Mafu, who has two children with Nhliziyo, said she was shattered. “I’m trying to be strong for the sake of my children. I’m still very shocked,” she said, weeping.

Funeral arrangements had not been finalised.

solly.maphumulo@inl.co.za

The Star


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