Mthobeli Ndyumbu, the 51-year-old ADT armed-response guard who was shot dead in Claremont, was honoured, last Friday, by his colleagues and the community he helped to protect.
Security guards, neighbourhood watch volunteers, Claremont police, traffic officers and members of the public drove in a “snake patrol” convoy through Harfield Village, Claremont and Kenilworth, cheered on by people standing in front of their homes.
Mr Ndyumbu, of Khayelitsha, was gunned down near the abandoned Claremont Bowling Club, on the corner of Herschel Close and Upper Bowwood Road, around 9.50pm, on Saturday July 23.
He was one of three guards who were attacked and had their firearms stolen within the space of an hour that evening by two men in a white VW GTI Polo, say police.
Earlier, a 38-year-old ADT guard was shot in his vehicle as he patrolled Surrey Street, Harfield Village, and before that, the two men approached a security vehicle parked in Main Road, Wynberg, and one of them pulled a gun on the National Security & Fire company guard sitting inside, demanding his firearm, ammunition and cellphone (“Armed-response guards targeted in shootings, Southern Suburbs Tatler, July 28).
At Purley Park, in Harfield Village, a yellowwood tree was planted by Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID) manager Jen Rowe, and Mr Ndyumbu’s family and ADT guards placed soil around it.
“Whoever did this must rot in jail,” said Lynette Ndyumbu, the dead guard’s widow.
She said her husband had loved his job. “He would always be excited to talk about his work.”
And he had always loved spending time with his family, especially their two boys, aged, 14 and 8. “He use to play soccer with them,” she said.
Mr Ndyumbu’s funeral will take place in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday August 7.
Ward councillor Katherine Christie joined the snake patrol and said it had been a deeply moving experience.
“Sharing a car with Mr Ndyumbu’s brother and sister, I could see their appreciation for all our residents who participated in the snake patrol and who stood outside their homes in the rain to pay tribute to this special man.”
The memorial took place in light rain, and Fidelity ADT’s Cape Town south branch manager Candice Hammond said that seemed fitting.
“I think it was a sign that even the sky was crying as we said goodbye to our colleague. This incident was an attack on all of us who work in security, and I am honoured that so many of our colleagues and competitor companies showed up in their numbers to bid Mthobeli a final goodbye.”
Ms Hammond said the guard who was shot in Harfield Village was recovering in hospital.
Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch chairman Derek Bluck said: “Our patrollers have been on high alert ever since the shooting and we have taken extra precautions to protect ourselves.”
Ms Rowe said the shootings had shocked the community but also united it in offering support to the officers’ families and friends. “These are people who we see patrolling our streets every week, every day. They risk their lives to keep us safer. It is still tough to comprehend.”
Claremont police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Marnus Fourie said the perpetrators were still at large.
“We do, however, encourage all security service providers to remain vigilant as these shooting incidents highlight the constant danger associated with our profession and carrying firearms for work purposes.”
The HVCID has started a BackaBuddy page to raise funds for the families of the guards that were shot. So far more than R14 000 has been raised, according to Ms Rowe. To donate visit the BackaBuddy page or email email@example.com for more information.