Pretoria - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has vowed to leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of the “cowardly” killing of Major-General Tirhani Maswanganyi, who was laid to rest in Hammanskraal on Thursday.
Maswanganyi’s bare-chested body was found last week, just 10km from his house, in a stretch of veld along the R101. His hands and feet were bound.
Among the mourners were hundreds of men and woman in blue who gathered at the Hammanskraal Police Academy to pay their last respects.
Mthethwa was joined by Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko and acting national police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nkrumah Mazibuko.
Seated in the front row of the hall was Maswanganyi’s wife Shereen and children Benny, Xongi, Didintle, Nkateko and Tinyiko.
Other family members occupied three rows behind them.
Wearing dark sunglasses and a large black hat, Shereen fought back tears as colleagues and family members shared their memories of the senior police officer.
Speakers after speaker described Maswanganyi as a pillar of strength, a warrior in the fight against crime, and a dedicated father and husband.
Mthethwa said that after his visit to the Maswanganyi family house last week, he left with a burden on his shoulders.
According to him Shereen’s words “Why, why why?” kept echoing through his head.
“We have come to try and comfort the family with their loss, but we have lost as well.
“We lost a dedicated and committed member.
“Maswanganyi dedicated his life to the fight (against) crime, through his actions and words it was established that he would lead from the front, ensuring those who do wrong will face the full might of the law.
“There is no doubt that he despised crime,” Mthethwa said.
According to the police minister, the legacy and contribution that Maswanganyi left behind would not be in vain.
Musician and poet Mzwakhe Mbuli, a close friend of Maswanganyi’s, said the “son of the soil” that was taken should not be forgotten and that his famous words would live on in his mind.
“In the fight against crime you cannot wear two caps, you cannot have two identities, you cannot be a cop and be a criminal.
“You have to choose one. That is what he always told us.
“Maswanganyi’s soul cannot rest in peace until his killers rot in a hole, he will not rest in peace as long as police collude with criminals.
“He did not deserve to die bound like a beast,” Mbuli told mourners.
Maswanganyi’s five children also paid tribute to “a father who left behind a legacy”.
“We have been cheated, But we are proud to be called his children.
“We have a father in heaven. Papa you will be missed,” they said.
A family representative read out a message from Shereen to her late husband.
“I love you and I always will.
“You brought meaning into my life. Still those questions remain, why? Why you? Why now?”