racist PUB KILLers known

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The police expect to make arrests soon in the murder of popular taxi driver Sithembiso Ciya.

His family believe his killing was "racist". He was allegedly beaten up by two white employees of the Kwenchers Family Pub at Sea View.

His attackers allegedly used baseball bats to assault Ciya, 24. He was with his elder brother Sibusiso and two others when he was attacked on Sunday night.

Ciya was the sole breadwinner in his family. Family and friends are angry and some of them have threatened to avenge Ciya's death.

He died on Monday at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital.

Police spokesman Jay Naicker said investigations were at an advanced stage.

"We are positive that those responsible will be arrested," Naicker said.

He asked the community not to take the law into its own hands and allow police to do their work.

The pub owner's friends said the family had "received death threats".

Naicker said: "We have not had any formal reports about the family being threatened and ask them to report such matters to the local police.

"Our detectives are investigating a case of murder."

Patrons allege that at least five other regulars had been assaulted outside the pub in recent weeks.

They said two employees had been conducting a "reign of terror" against them without the knowledge of pub owner, whose name is known to Sowetan.

Patron Lezzy Ngema said: "It's not only blacks that are assaulted. But it seems as if the hand does get a lot harder on black patrons.

"People are being beaten up and it might be that the owner does not know. I was once beaten too."

Ciya's family want justice.

Yesterday his mother Nomsa said: "We are happy that the police are taking the matter seriously.

"We want those responsible arrested and sent to jail though nothing can bring back my son."

Ciya will be buried on Sunday.