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Car guard beaten to death

Car guard Vusi Mgiqwa
Car guard Vusi Mgiqwa
Image: Tayla Shead/Facebook

A popular car guard from Springs‚ east of Johannesburg‚ has died after allegedly being beaten by an agitated motorist in the same parking lot where he had spent years assisting drivers‚ an eyewitness said on Monday.

The incident happened on Friday night. Two men were arguing in the parking lot. As car guard Vusi Mgiqwa approached them‚ another man accosted the car guard — first with a verbal directive‚ and then with his fists.

Witness Tayla Shead‚ describing the sequence of events‚ explained: “That area is very busy and parking is pathetic there. Altercations have happened there because of parking. On this Friday night‚ we pulled up. There was no parking for us. As I jumped out of the car [leaving my partner in the car]‚ I saw there were these people fighting. We were all curious about what was going on.”

“This man all of a sudden walked past Vusi‚ who was also curious about the altercation‚ and he said ‘Can you just control the f***en cars’.

“As the man was walking to his own car‚ parked on the other side of the road‚ Mgiqwa responded: ‘These are not f***en cars. This is my job‚ I will handle it’‚” said Shead.

After walking a few steps the man suddenly turned around‚ walked back to Mgiqwa and punched him in the head‚ several times.

“[He hit him] multiple times in his face‚ so hard that he [Vusi] instantly dropped on his head‚” Shead said‚ adding that Mgiqwa had not even realised that the man was coming back for him.

Mgiqwa did not fight back.

The man who assaulted Mgiqwa then hurried away with his wife and daughter‚ leaving the injured car guard unassisted.

The motorists who had been fighting earlier also drove off.

Shead‚ who shared details of the events on her Facebook page on Saturday morning‚ said she had been shaken by the incident.

She shared on social media: “Springs is a small town. People know everyone and we knew him very well. Whenever he would see me alone he would ask me where is Ryan [my partner] and he would do the same if my partner was alone.”

When Mgiqwa’s attacker rushed off to his car‚ Shead’s partner ran after him to capture his vehicle details.

She stood over Mgiqwa‚ screaming for help. “He was unconscious. I thought he was dead. He had a seizure for a bit‚ he was convulsing and then he stopped again‚” said Shead.

With the ambulance on its way‚ a member of the community policing forum rushed to his aid and lifted his head to bandage him.

“That was when we saw how bad the wound was. I didn’t know what to do. Vusi then woke up and was making sounds and you could hear he was in pain. When the ambulance arrived‚ he was still awake but looked dazed.”

With medical personnel attending to him‚ she became optimistic he would recover. “We thought he was going to make it‚” said Shead.

Mgiqwa‚ however‚ died within hours after he was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Pholosong Hospital.

Shead and another car guard had by then already opened cases of assault against the man. She said that the police had since told her that a suspect has been arrested. “We feel so relieved because we were also afraid that he could come after us‚” said Shead.

Meanwhile‚ some of Mgiqwa’s family was battling to come to terms with his death‚ with one of his sisters apparently suffering a breakdown. Shead added that she would be meeting with the family later on Monday afternoon.

On Shead’s Facebook post of the incident‚ which is accompanied by a picture of a beaming Vusi Mgiqwa‚ dressed in his car guard reflector jacket‚ condolences have been pouring in.

The post had more than 4‚500 comments by Monday afternoon with the majority of people calling for justice for Mgiqwa. Police said they would comment on the incident later on Monday.

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