Union official beheaded in xenophobic attacks

MISERY:Nine-month pregnant Danny Ngombha at a makeshift camp, Cleveland police station. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. © Sowetan.
MISERY:Nine-month pregnant Danny Ngombha at a makeshift camp, Cleveland police station. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. © Sowetan.

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

When his shack was attacked by a panga-wielding mob in Ekurhuleni, Walter Ntombela resisted and fought to the end to allow his family to escape.

For that he was beheaded with a panga by the marauding mob attacking foreign nationals.

Ntombela, an official of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) and a Mozambican national, lived in Madalukufa informal settlement, Tembisa. He had lived in the country for the past 10 years.

His shack was razed to ashes while his headless body lay nearby.

The trade union movement is mourning the death of a man who it also described as a prolific guitarist. Ntombela was a shop steward at a tools manufacturing engineering firm in Jet Park, Ekurhuleni.

Numsa's Wits Central West regional chairman Motsamai Ponya said Ntombela was a humorous and light-hearted person.

"He always joked about being a foreigner and a union activist. It is an unfathomable grief to lose a talented son of the metalworkers' union and a creative leader."

Numsa spokesman Mziwakhe Hlangani said Ntombela's wife and three children were preparing to leave for Mozambique. His body had already been transported to Mozambique where he will be buried at the weekend.

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