Durban - MINUTES after writing her first matric paper, Shannon Govender phoned her father to tell him it had gone well. Little did she realise it would be her last conversation with him.
Ivan Govender, 48, a businessman from Mthatha, was shot in the chest while protecting a waitress during an armed robbery at a restaurant in Savoy Mall.
The suspect, Mzukisi Magwashu, was apprehended by other patrons and disarmed before being handed over to the police.
Magwashu, 29, was charged with murder and robbery.
He appeared in the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The case was adjourned to Friday for a formal bail application. He was remanded at the Wellington Prison in Mthatha.
Govender was having dinner with his wife Caroline, and seven-year-old twin sons Raylin and Riley, when three robbers entered the restaurant, on October 25.
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana said one of the suspects held the waitress at gunpoint.
“Govender tried to help her by disarming the suspect. A struggled ensued between them.”
He said the gun went off, and Govender was shot.
“The two other suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. They are still at large.”
Govender, formerly of Port Shepstone, was cremated at the Clare Estate Crematorium last Tuesday.
Caroline said her husband was a people’s person.
“Ivan always saw the good in everyone. He loved life and our family was everything to him.”
Govender grew up in Port Shepstone and, after completing school, he worked as a car salesman.
In 1989, he moved to Mthatha, where they met.
“He was a hard worker and someone I admired. He went on to open a string of businesses in construction and property. His prime businesses were King Auto Spares in Norwood, and Diesel and Petrol in Southernwood, suburbs in Mthatha.”
She said he was passionate about motorsport.
“Ivan founded the club, Stock Cars. Through the club, he hosted spinning events to raise funds for different charities.
“He began the project four months ago. He was in the process of building a school for a rural community in the area.”
She said he would have turned 49 on November 18 and that their daughter, Shannon, was in matric.
Shannon, 17, attended a high school in Durban and was boarding at a student residence.
“Soon after writing her first paper, she contacted her father to tell him about it.
“He was excited about her matriculating and pursuing a career in law.”
Caroline said her daughter and husband shared a close relationship.
“He always encouraged her to do the best she could in life and to never depend on anyone. His death has not been easy on her. With the support of our family, she is coping with exams.”
Caroline said months before his death, Ivan began grooming their son, Tegan, 21, to take over the businesses.
“I will be working with him. Tegan is trying to be strong for all of us. We are praying for justice.”
Management at the Savoy Mall did not comment by the time of publication.