Dumisani Maaga and his partner Crystell Page, and their daughter Xiamora, who is now 2. Maaga was killed when he tried to stop criminals fleeing with his friends cellphone.

Johannesburg - A 32-year-old Joburg man who was about to become a father for the second time was killed when he tried to help a friend who had his cellphone snatched at a shopping centre in Fourways.

Dumisani Maaga, 32, reacted quickly when he saw criminals snatch his friends cellphone at the Pineslopes Shopping Centre. He had been with two friends, a man and a woman.

The suspects tried to speed away in a white Toyota Etios, but the three chased them down and Maaga somehow managed to enter the car and they drove off with him. 

Maaga, the father of two-year-old daughter Xiamora Maaga and an expectant father to his second child, was found dead about 200 metres away from the shopping centre on Witkoppen Road.

His friends and family are still reeling in shock at his death.

His partner, Crystell Page, who he lived with in Lonehill, Sandton, is taking the death badly and was too distraught to speak.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo confirmed they were investigating a murder docket and said no arrests had been made. 

He said the deceased had been standing outside the Billy The Bums Club at the Pineslopes Shopping Centre on Saturday night at about 11pm, awaiting a lift with friends, when a suspect snatched one of his friends’ cellphone and ran into a white Toyota Etios (not a Nissan Almera as earlier police statements claimed).

“The friends gave chase and approximately 200m down Witkoppen Road the suspects pushed the victim out of the moving vehicle. It appears the victim sustained a head injury and he died on the scene,” said Masondo.

Maaga’s close friends who spoke to IOL on Wednesday said they were still shocked. They also said there were many unanswered questions and were appealing to witnesses to come forward with statements. 

JP Le Roux, the owner of Thusano Group, a telecoms company to which Maaga was a sales representative, described the deceased as a friend and a warm person.

“He was so positive about life, he was always smiling and loved everything about South Africa. We talking about someone who invested money in South Africa to win the cricket world cup, he really loved everything South Africa, whether it was cricket, soccer or rugby, everything,” said Le Roux.

Le Roux said Maaga always looked for the good in people and always had a smile on his face. 

“We are all truly devastated, he was a breathe of fresh air and we are all heartbroken. It’s always the good guys that get taken,” he said.  

Dumisani Maaga and his friend Llewellan Vance took a selfie on Saturday before splitting up. It would be their last picture together.

Another friend, Llewellan Vance, who has been friends with the deceased for five years, said ‘Duma’ was a go getter and a great people’s person. 

“This is not right, it should never have happened,” he said. 

“He would do anything for you as a friend, he was not a fighter,” said another friend, Gary Ernstzen, who flew in from Cape Town. 

Vance, Ernstzen and another friend, Mark Wilson, had been part of a group who went for a ‘boy’s weekend away’ to Hartbeespoort in February. It was the last time Ernstzen saw Maaga.

“I remember when we were in Hartbeespoort, it was a weekend for the boys, but he woke up and he said ‘I miss my wife, I can’t wait to see her later’,” Ernstzen recalls.

“He even left on Saturday even though we were booked until Sunday, that just shows you how much he loved his family,” he recalled. 

Vance said he would miss Maaga’s warm smile and infectious personality.

“When Duma walked into the room, the room lit up,” said Wilson. 

Maaga’s partner, Page, was said to be too distraught to speak, while his uncle, Siphiwe Maaga, said his friends would speak on the families behalf. 

He is expected to be buried on Saturday in Johannesburg.