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Kimberley - Mystery surrounds the death of well-known city businessman and president of the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nocci), Monwabisi Vika, whose body was found lying next to his vehicle on the N12 highway with a gunshot wound to the head.
Vika’s body was discovered on Wednesday night and, according to police spokesman, Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana, a hunting rifle was found at the scene. No foul play is suspected.
Reports of Vika’s death shocked his family, friends and the Kimberley business community on Thursday.
“There was no better man than him. His death was not expected and we are all devastated by it,” one of his friends said on Thursday.
Vika was the current president of Nocci and was a member of the business organisation for about three years. He was also the director of Katz Roofs and Bricks, a business which he managed on a daily basis.
Rumours surfaced on Thursday that Vika’s businesses in the province were not doing well.
Although Vika’s family did not want to speak to the DFA on Thursday, his brother Andile (Vika) said that “rumours remain just that (rumours) until proven otherwise”.
“But for now (Thursday) we cannot comment on this matter (Vika’s death) because we are busy with the arrangements (for the funeral) as a family,” Andile said.
Efforts to get comment from Vika’s colleagues at Katz Roofs and Bricks were also unsuccessful.
Nocci’s vice president, Neil de Klerk, on Thursday expressed condolences on behalf of the organisation.
“Nocci’s executive committee was informed that Vika died on Wednesday night in Kimberley. We are greatly saddened by the news of his passing. It came as a shock for everyone involved with Nocci.
“I would like to express our condolences to the family on behalf of Nocci’s executive committee, staff and management. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family in this very difficult time,” De Klerk said.
The executive director of the Northern Cape Master Builders’ Association, Vic Smailes, also expressed the organisation’s condolences to Vika’s family.
“Vika’s death is a great loss to our community,” Smailes said.
Although Vika was elected as junior president of the Northern Cape Master Builders’ Association at the organisation’s AGM held in July last year, Smailes said that he (Vika) did not make himself available for re-election to the position this year.
The ANC in the Province described Vika as a businessman and political activist who contributed towards the country’s democracy.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to Vika’s family and friends. His sudden passing has indeed left the community of Kimberley in shock, and a gap in the business fraternity. We will certainly honour the memory of this wonderful man and will dearly miss his presence,” the party’s spokeswoman in the Province, Gail Parker, said.
Vika was part of the leadership of the student resistant movement in Kimberley in the 1980s. He then went on to work for the Building Allied Mining and Construction Workers Union (BAMCWU). From 1985, he moved through the ranks, starting at the position of Regional Organisation and leaving the union as General Secretary in 1991.
In 1995, he was appointed Group Industrial Relations Manager of AfriSam, which was Anglo Alpha at the time, before veering into line management where he managed AfriSam’s Readymix Concrete Business as Regional Manager, supplying to civil and building construction sites.
In 2001, he was appointed as Director: Human Resources and left AfriSam to take up a shareholding position in Klipstone Transport before becoming Managing Director. He held this position until 2009 when he became Director at Katz Roofs and Bricks.
He was also a director at Magnificent Mile Trading 120, Klipstone Transport, Setjhaba Carriers and Integricon Construction.
Vika was also a trustee on SSACI’s board since 2002 and represented the broader South African community.
He was also the chairman of Friends of the National Institute of Higher Education (Northern Cape) and a director on the board of the Griqua Diamonds (Griqualand West Cricket Union).
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