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Ntumba described as a loving husband and astute town planner as family, colleagues pay tribute to him

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Mthokozisi Ntumba
Mthokozisi Ntumba

Mthokozisi Ntumba's younger brother has described him as a disciplined loving husband who always pushed his siblings to work hard.

Ntumba, 35, was killed during a student protest in Braamfontein last week when police officers allegedly opened fire on him as he was leaving his doctor's rooms amid a protest by Wits students.

The City of Tshwane held a memorial service for him at the Tshwane House in Pretoria on Wednesday. Ntumba has been a town planner in the metro's human settlements department for five years at the time of his death.

His brother, Sanele, in an emotional tribute, said Ntumba had encouraged them to prioritise education and get married.

"I used to think he was very harsh to me, but if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have gotten to where I am right now... it will be difficult without him around," Sanele said with tears rolling down his face.

He said Mthokozisi spoke about married life very often, and advised him and his other brothers to consider getting married just like him. When he felt they were picking up weight he would tell them about it and pushed them to do something about it, Sanele said.

Several colleagues of Ntumba described him as soft-spoken, grounded, hard-working, humble, strict and a very devoted family man.

One of his colleagues, Tumelo Kgampe, said Ntumba often spoke about his children and even once brought them to work.

Kgampe said Ntumba had so much love for his family and wife as he spoke about them a lot at work.

Nyikiwa Rikhotso, another colleague, said Ntumba was a "rare breed and an astute town planner" .

City of Tshwane MMC for human settlements Mpho Mehlape-Zimu said everyone in the department was devastated when news of Ntumba's passing broke last week.

"We are here to celebrate a credible life... a man who understood the circumstances of your birth doesn't determine your future, a man dedicated to change the lives of those around him" Mehlape-Zulu said.

Delivering an eulogy, group head of human settlements in Tshwane, Nonto Memela, said Ntumba was responsible for an initiative aimed at formalising 20 informal settlements across Region 7 of the capital city.

His wife Thandi Mokoena, brother Sanele and other family members led a candle-lighting ceremony in his honour outside the Tshwane House following his memorial service.