DURBAN - THE FAMILY of a 30-year-old man who died after he was allegedly assaulted by security guards at Capitec bank in Tongaat, north of Durban on Saturday have accused the bank of trying to cover its theft tracks.
Nhlakanipho “Sir Ronnius” Gumede of eMagwazeni township, an up and coming gqom artist, was allegedly assaulted on Saturday a day after he had gone to deposit money for his mother in Zululand. He succumbed to his injuries on Sunday morning.
He will be laid to rest on Saturday. His brother, Jan Gumede, said it would take time for him to forget the picture of his little brother lying in a pool of blood.
He said Nhlakanipho had gone to the back to deposit money for their mother in Zululand on Friday. Jan said the following day they found out from their mother that she had only received R500 instead of the R1 000 that Nhlakanipho had deposited.
When he was at the bank on Saturday Nhlakanipho found out that the teller who had helped him was not on duty that day and he asked to see the manager instead.
“I was at work when I received a call from the manager who called herself Boni. She said my brother had given them my numbers so she could explain to me what had happened. The manager told me that my brother would have to come back on Tuesday for his query since it was a weekend. I agreed. Before she hung up the phone she told my brother to leave as she had already spoken to me. I heard my brother saying okay but he asked her to check on the system what had gone wrong. She then hung up the phone and I thought the matter was sorted for Tuesday. Little did I know that it was the last time I would hear my brother’s voice.”
Jan said he was shocked when he received a call about five minutes later from someone telling him his brother was dying.
“I could not believe my eyes when I got there; I found him lying on newspapers in a pool of blood. I froze for a few seconds and watched the blood come from his head. There was a woman who was pouring water on his face trying to wake him up. When I came closer I realised he was still breathing then I called my brother-in-law who came with my father. They then rushed him to the Tongaat clinic while I went inside the bank to find out what had transpired.”
Jan said inside the manager told them that Nhlakanipho was disrupting clients hence they called security guards on him.
“I asked why they would assault him unarmed? They just kept apologising.
“The bank called security guards which are almost 5km from the bank and not the police, which are two minutes from the bank. They knew what they were doing. They wanted him dead hence they only hit him on the head and not the body. He had no bruises on the body but they aimed only for the head.”
Jan said the family was still devastated by the incident, especially his father.
“We are all confused because we have not received the whole story. I know he was not a violent person. This has taken a huge toll on my family, especially my father. My father has not even been able to see his body since we are preparing for the funeral. He said he saw his (Nhlakanipho’s) tears coming out from his eyes even when he had left this world. We know it was not his fault. We are preparing to sue the bank.”
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a 40-year-old security guard was arrested for murder and had appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
“Capitec is shocked and deeply saddened by the death of our client Nhlakanipho Gumede following an incident at our Tongaat branch. We do not condone the use of violence in any form or behaviour that goes against our company values,” said Capitec spokesperson Chandré Matlala.
“The security guard in question has been arrested and we are working closely with the South African Police Service to further investigate the incident. We are also in direct contact with Mr Gumede’s family during this difficult time. We have offered counselling to our staff and clients who were there and experienced the event.”