Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dad killed in ambush

18 August 2010, 08:51
By Karabo Seanego

"I spoke to him on Sunday over the phone when he was coming back from the Free State. He said he was going to see me when he got home, but that did not happen."

That was the last time Joseph Bezile Mbonani, 86, of Ekangala, Pretoria, spoke to his son Elijah, 49.

Relatives described Elijah as a caring man who took care of his family and was loved by everyone.

Elijah was shot dead moments after making a delivery to Nkunzi Milkway dairy at Hazeldean Farm in Swartkoppies near Mamelodi.

It is believed the gang who killed him were lying in wait for him and co-driver Philemen Sithole and launched their attack moments after the men arrived at the farm.

The gang overpowered security guards before severely assaulting them. The gunmen shot the two drivers when they refused to get out of the truck and hand over the keys.

They fled empty-handed after killing Elijah and wounding Sithole.

Elijah's father said he could not believe it when he heard his son had been killed.

He said he broke down and fell to his knees, crying.

"He used to do everything for me. He was a real man who would jump when I asked him to do something for me," he said.

Elijah's son, Mandla, 27, said the last thing he did with his father was fixing his car the previous Friday.

He had been looking forward to seeing him again when he returned from his trip.

His father's death means taking care of the family now rests on his young shoulders.

"I am unemployed and there are three other siblings after me who also don't have work. We are going to miss him very much because of the person he was," Mandla said.

Elijah's brother, Daniel, could not believe his older brother had been taken from the family.

"He always encouraged us to stay together. The mood in the house is unbearable, everybody was crying after hearing of this tragedy."

Daughter Nomsa, 25, could not contain her emotions and wept every time Elijah's name was mentioned.

Elijah leaves his wife, four children, and five brothers. He was the eldest in his family and shouldered most responsibilities.

His wife, Johanna, was too distraught to speak to the Pretoria News.

Elijah's funeral is on Saturday in Bronkhorstspruit.

Sithole is in the Pretoria East Hospital.

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Pretoria News on August 18, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Inside information?

It is obvious that the criminals knew the delivery was being made!

Organised Crime - Who benefits from it?

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