Full details on Zimbabwean gardener and father of 4 who was stoned and burnt to death in Diepsloot

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It was a sombre moment for Godknows Nyathi as he was joined by other family members cleaning the spot where his brother was brutally burnt to death in Diepsloot Ext 1, northern Johannesburg.

Mbodazwe Elvis Nyathi, 43, was killed on Wednesday night by a mob who were going around the neighbourhood demanding to see the passports of foreigners living in the area.

While Nyathi poured water on the blood of his slain brother, another family member used a mop to wipe the blood on the road surface.

Not far from the spot, a group of residents stood quietly in the little road that is sandwiched by shacks and little spaza shops.

Nyathi told Sowetan that his brother was with his wife Nomusa Chuma who told the family that she heard a group of people knocking at one of the neighbour’s door demanding to see identity documents.

“After hearing that, my brother took his wife and went out to hide. But they spotted him and he dashed out and ran. As he went outside, he found the group chasing someone. He then ran out of panic. They caught him and started beating him up. They accused him of being a thug,” Nyathi said.

Nyathi said the mob then took his brother back to his shack where they demanded to see his firearm. They then searched the shack and could not find any gun. They assaulted Chuma before taking her husband away.

The door of the shack still had blood stains when Sowetan visited the family.

“He was a person who loved people and had no qualms with anyone. If the community is looking for someone who has done something wrong, they must verify information and capture the person who has committed the crime. They cannot just grab the first one they find on the streets,” Nyathi said.

Elvis was a Zimbabwean national who worked as a gardener. He had been in SA for six years. He had four children, the youngest being 13.

Diepsloot, has been having protests since Tuesday with residents complaining about the high levels of crime. The protests were sparked by the killing of a man in his early 20s who was shot in front of his parents during a robbery at Extension 1.

Elvis’ friend and neighbour Prince Mkhwebo said the mob also arrived at his shack and began searching.

“They asked me where I work I told them the place. They took my phone and one of them tried to release gas from my stove in order to set me alight in the shack but one of them said they should stop it because of my two-year-old child. I still do not know how I survived,” Mkhwebo said.

Mkhwebo has known Elvis since grade 1 back in Zimbabwe. He said having seen what was done to Elvis, he will look for a different place to spend a night as he fears for his life.

“He was a good man who did not trouble anyone. He was like a brother to me,” Mkhwebo said.

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