Car guard's family willing to accept R50k compensation from alleged killer

The family of murdered car guard Vusi Mgiqwa is willing to accept R50,000 compensation from his alleged killer.

Mgiqwa's sister Jabulile confirmed to Sowetan that the family had met Lukas van der Merwe's lawyers who offered to pay them R50,000 for his life.

"The proposal that was put before us was that even if the guy spends the rest of his life in jail we would still be left with nothing and yet we have lost Vusi for good," Jabulile told Sowetan.

Mgiqwa died in hospital last year from head injuries he suffered after Van Der Merwe punched him during an altercation over parking outside a restaurant in Selcourt, Springs.

Mgiqwa fell on his head and was left unconscious. He was the sole breadwinner.

Sowetan has learnt that Van Der Merwe sent his legal representatives to meet Mgiqwa's family last month and the R50,000 compensation was discussed as part of a plea bargain. The settlement reached with the family has now been placed before the Gauteng director of public prosecutions for consideration.

Van Der Merwe denied killing Mgiqwa during his bail application but only admitted to punching him.

A decision on the amount of compensation was not made in the first meeting that Jabulile attended. A follow-up meeting was held where the family represented by Jabulile's brother Themba and father Simon accepted financial compensation for Mgiqwa's death.

But Jabulile insisted the offer was too little. "I cannot reverse that decision. I would not have agreed for that amount of money. The money cannot bring back Vusi and it is too little for the pain we have suffered as a family. Actually, this man is disrespecting us," she said.

NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonodwane confirmed that a plea bargain has been placed before the prosecution.

"The defence has made a plea bargain and it is before the director of public prosecutions for a decision. I can't tell you what is in the document because I don't have it."

Two other sources close to the case also confirmed the plea bargain.

Life has been hard for the Mgiqwa family since Vusi's death. Jabulile said she had to surrender her social grant card for her two children to a loan shark in order to get money to bury her twin sister who also died soon after Mgiqwa.

"My sister had never recovered from losing Vusi. She became ill and just got worse .Now I have lost two of my siblings in such a short space of time because of that man."

Attempts to get comment from Van der Merwe's lawyer, Peter Wilkins, were not successful.

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