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WATCH | The man killed in Diepsloot was a father of four. This is his story

Emile Bosch Multimedia journalist

Bloodstains litter the bright pink entrance gate to the small grouping of shacks where Elvis Nyathi, a 43-year-old Zimbabwean, was killed in a mob attack in Diepsloot on Wednesday night after a day of protest against crime and poor policing of immigration laws. 

Faint sobs emanate from one of the dimly lit corrugated iron shacks, in the heart of Diepsloot's extension one. Nyathi's wife sits shrouded in a blanket, sobbing about the violent loss of her husband. 

According to neighbour and childhood friend, Prince Mkhwebo, a small but angry group came knocking at the gate - demanding to see the identity documents of the residents. Nyathi, knowing well he had no papers, hid in the vicinity until the mob found him.

Soon his body lay beaten, stoned and set ablaze a mere 20m from his home. 

"They said he was running away so he must have a gun or something. They found him, started beating him and took him away to kill him," Mkhwebo says. 

Visibly shaken by the experience, Mkwebo winces as he continues.

"I'm feeling very scared to be here, I can't trust this place. I think they'll come again today," he says.

Nyathi worked as a gardener in Fourways and leaves his four children, who live in Zimbabwe. 

His brother, Godknows Nyathi, says the experience has devastated him and left him confused. 

"He wasn't a violent man, he was a very good person," he says. 

Police minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Gen Sehlahle Fannie Masemola, attended the crime scene and condemned the attack, while providing assurances that the situation was "not out of control".

Police are attempting to maintain calm in the area, bringing in more than 100 additional officers to bolster their ranks. 


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