'Lindani used his voice as a war cry to inspire confidence and encourage' says KZN Premier
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DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has described slain former club rugby player, Lindani Myeni, as a 'gentle giant would would not hurt a fly'.
Zikalala delivered the eulogy at Myeni's memorial service which was held in Empangeni, north of Durban.
Zikalala called on the United States government to take action against those implicated in the shooting.
"Those who took Lindani’s life want us to believe that he was a criminal and a violent man, but those who knew him intimately, tell tales of a soft-spoken, gentle giant who was always considerate and compassionate," Zikalala said.
Last month, Myeni was shot during a scuffle with police in Hawaii. Police had been responding to a 911 call of a robbery in progress.
It has been widely reported that when police arrived at the scene, they were confronted by Myeni. Shots were fired and Myeni was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Zikalala said Myeni used his voice as a war cry to inspire confidence and to encourage his rugby teammates.
"He also used it to instil fear in opposing teams. His voice, which has been eternally silenced, still echoes across the globe as his killing has united people of different colours, creeds and cultures.
"Lindani’s untimely demise at the hands of policemen who were supposed to protect him touched the hearts and souls of many generous people across the world who joined our government in raising funds to cover his transportation back home, funeral costs and legal fees involved in the family's plight to uncover the circumstances surrounding his death.
"We are eternally gratefully to these considerate souls who opened their hearts and pockets to help the family and the provincial government in the repatriation of Lindani’s body from Hawaii to South Africa," he said.
The Premier acknowledged Myeni's friend, Bello Silitshena, who was instrumental in the fundraising process.