• July 14th, 2020

Vendor brutally beaten, dumped on the street … family devastated over Otjiwarongo woodcarver’s killing

The family of a Zimbabwean-born street vendor, who was assaulted and later succumbed to his injuries at Otjiwarongo last week, say they are devastated by how their loved one died. Hlaisanani Zhou, a woodcarver from Otjiwarongo, died on Wednesday evening two hours after he was assaulted at a local supermarket where he allegedly stole wood glue. 

“It does not make sense that he stole glue. It is a tool for his work. If it was beer, it is something else. I don’t see why he would steal glue,” said Tendai Moyo, a nephew to the 43-year-old victim. Zhou sold woodcarvings and leather products such as wallets, belts and key holders at the town. Moyo, the only relative of the victim in Namibia, said Zhou did not go to the supermarket to purchase only glue, as he had paid for other items. He said his uncle had N$150 in his pocket and bought meat before going to the supermarket. After the beating, it is alleged Zhou was dumped in the street where he was seen crawling and trying to walk but failed. 

Onlookers initially thought Zhou was intoxicated, lamented Moyo. But a businessman, who was driving in the area found Zhou lying unconscious in the street with his head protruding in the road. The businessman called the police and an ambulance that rushed to the scene. At first, Moyo said it was not known what had transpired, as they suspected Zhou might have been bumped or mugged. But later, they learnt someone was beaten at a local supermarket. 

He said there is footage from the shop, showing Zhou being taken by the security guard to a room inside the shop, where he was allegedly assaulted.  Moyo added the room had bloodstains. 
The Namibian Police Head of Criminal Investigation Nelius Becker told New Era yesterday five suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of Zhou. “Four from the security company and one employee of the shop,” said Becker. The owner of a security company, identified as Jonathan Patrick Myburgh, and one of his employees Jannie Jansen van Vuuren were on the run following the assault incident and were arrested on Saturday afternoon in the Rooidag area of Otjozondjupa region after the police put out a request for the public to provide information regarding their whereabouts. The two and three others arrested in connection with the murder are expected to appear in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court this morning. 

Moyo added the family was devastated with what had happened. “The family delayed telling his mother (about his passing). She was told on Thursday during the day. We didn’t know how to break the news to her,” stated Moyo. “It is very sad and I hope there will be justice for him. The family is devastated.” 

Moyo briefly stopped in Otjiwarongo about a week ago and met up with Zhou while travelling to Ondangwa in northern Namibia. Moyo said he is waiting for the postmortem, which is expected to be conducted today. He plans to travel to Zimbabwe where his uncle will be laid to rest. Moyo said his uncle has been staying in and out of Otjiwarongo for the past ten years, and he would visit between Zimbabwe and South Africa. He said Zhou lived alone at Otjiwarongo. He was not married and did not have children.


Selma Ikela
2020-06-08 10:05:43 | 1 months ago

Be the first to post a comment...