Slain car guard's family in fight over money

The R50,000 mobilised by Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi for the family of murdered car guard Vusi Mgiqwa almost tore the family apart.

After Sowetan published the story of how the man accused of killing Vusi, Lukas van der Merwe, offered about R50,000 to the family in what would form part of a plea agreement, Lesufi jumped in and mobilised for the same amount to be given to the Mgiqwas for them not to take the "blood money".

Jabulile Mgiqwa received the money and began buying furniture to make the family's home decent as they didn't have proper chairs, among others.

Yesterday, the Mgiqwa home in Tsakane, near Springs, was undergoing a huge facelift.

Jabulile bought new tables and chairs, a stove, sofas, a television stand, bed and wardrobe, doors for the house and a kitchen unit.

Construction workers were building a toilet, which will allow for more space for the small kitchen, when Sowetan arrived yesterday.

"I am so grateful to everything the Sowetan has done for us. I don't know how can I thank you for all the help," said a happy Jabulile.

Their home did not even have a proper chair for Lesufi to sit on when he visited last week.

However, the arrival of the money had initially angered other members of the family who thought Jabulile had secretly received Van der Merwe's money.

"They [her brother Themba and father Simon] came here and questioned how I used the money without consulting them," said Jabulile.

With nowhere to go, Jabulile rushed to the ANC local branch for help as she realised that the "gift" had become somewhat of a curse.

"We explained to them that the money was for the home and not for individuals to do whatever they liked," said ANC local branch secretary Nomvuyo Sofute.

"Vusi lived in that home and worked to make it better. Everyone ultimately understood and there was peace."

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 landed on his head and was left unconscious. He was the family's breadwinner.

In his bail application, Van der Merwe admitted to punching Mgiqwa but not to killing him.

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