Gasa’s murder shocks family

By NONDUMISO MBUYAZI Time of article published Mar 30, 2013

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Durban - Traumatised former Miss South Africa Mbali Gasa was this weekend faced with the task of explaining to her young children where their grandfather was.

Mbali, the daughter of murdered Durban businessman Nhlanhla Gasa, had to explain to her young children – who were looking forward to spending the Easter weekend with their grandfather – why they would not see him again.

Gasa was fatally stabbed in his upmarket Umhlanga house earlier this week.

Residents of Newark found his body, which had multiple stab wounds, floating in the Tugela River 77km up the North Coast near KwaDukuza, on Tuesday. His burnt-out Jaguar was found parked nearby.

Provincial police spokesman Colonel Vincent Mdunge said police at the scene initially thought that Gasa had drowned but realised that something was amiss when they searched the area and found the car.

It is alleged that the father-of-four was killed late on Monday in his home by men who then bundled his body into his car and drove to the river.

There was no sign of forced entry, said Mdunge, adding that Gasa was alone at the time of the attack. “A trail of blood was found in the house which led to the garage, suggesting that he was dragged after he was murdered,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni has since established a special task team to investigate circumstances surrounding the brutal murder.

Police were following several leads, said Mdunge, adding that arrests were imminent. The motive was still unknown.

Gasa, 63, who reportedly had close ties with the ANC, was the chief executive of Gasa and Associates, a management and human relations consultancy.

The former chairman of Umgeni Water is survived by his wife, Sinenhlanhla, and four children, including his two famous daughters – Noni Gasa, a model, actress and fashion marketer and Mbali.

Family spokesman Louis Seeco said the close-knit family had rallied around his wife, who was inconsolable.

He said a devastated Mbali, the winner of the beauty pageant in 1997 who married former SAA boss, Khaya Ngqula, in 2005 had to explain to her children why they couldn’t see their grandfather.

“The grandkids were meant to come down from Joburg to see Mr Gasa over the Easter weekend and he was very excited about their visit. It has been very difficult for Mbali to explain why grandpa is not around,” he said on Friday.

When asked if the family would hire a private investigator, Seeco said the family had faith in the police. “The family just wants to know who did this and why,” he said.

Seeco said a memorial service will be held on Wednesday and the funeral on Friday.

Independent on Saturday

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