Race killing angers mourners

BEATEN TO DEATH: Sithembiso Ciya. 02/11/08. © UNknown.
BEATEN TO DEATH: Sithembiso Ciya. 02/11/08. © UNknown.

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Emotions ran high when family and friends came to say goodbye to the young taxi driver who was beaten up last week with baseball bats by two white employees of a pub in Sea View.

Anger and pain were visible as friends of Sithembiso Ciya, 24, stood helplessly under the trees while the funeral service continued in a white marquee at his home.

His best friend, Mlungisi Mseleku, 20, said: "I did not know he would be killed like this for no apparent reason."

Mseleku was with Ciya during the attack.

"One man has been arrested but that is not going to bring back my friend," Mseleku said.

"These guys started fighting with us while we were in the pub and they followed us to the car and up to a set of robots.

"They dragged my friend out of the car and assaulted him with baseball bats. I still do not know why we were attacked and why my friend was killed.

"The pub owners son was there assaulting us."

Ciya's employer, Nkosi Mncube, said: "It's clear the aim was to kill him. I'm terrified. I've never seen a person beaten like this before.

"But we hope the police will do their job and arrest the culprits because people are very angry here."

Local ANC chairman Siboniso Makhaye said the community must not take the law into their own hands.

Meanwhile, one man linked to Ciya's killing has been arrested.

Police were forced to call for backup when the suspect refused to be arrested by five black officers.

He is expected to appear in Durban magistrate's court today.