Orphaned dancer needs friends to pay for his funeral

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

The man who died while driving Somizi Mhlongo's fancy car was an orphan, so his friends need to dig deep into their pockets to give him a decent send-off, his distraught cousin, Esther Pilane, told Sowetan yesterday.

Godwin Sekonyela, 25, was killed when Mhlongo's Audi TT overtuned near Diepsloot.

"Although people have reservations about gay people, they nonetheless loved Godwin very much," Pilane said.

She said her mother and aunt had raised Sekonyela, and both are unemployed.

"Gay people loved him, and he was popular among them. They knew him better."

Shaking her head as if to ward off the dark cloud hanging over their family, Pilane said: "He was extremely popular in Rustenburg and I know that once news of his death reaches them, they are going to be sad. He was a friendly, outgoing people's person."

Sekonyela was an entertainer who loved dancing and once even appeared on Muvhango.

The hairdresser and socialite was not working when he died, "although he had worked before", his cousin said.

Pilane could not understand why Sekonyela had taken Mhlongo's car without permission.

"Godwin used to borrow my car and if I refused, he used to respect that," she said, taking a deep breath.

"In line with our culture, anybody who has died in an accident should not be kept long, so he will be buried this weekend. His body is going to be transferred to Moruleng, Rustenburg, today."

Sekonyela is survived by his only brother.