Hundreds of mourners descended on the Babs Madlakane Community Hall in KwaNobuhle yesterday to bid farewell to Sizwe Vumazonke – the man who allegedly shot and killed Uitenhage teacher Jayde Panayiotou.
Vumazonke, 37, died on September 7 while awaiting trial.
The cause of death has not yet been revealed, but there has been speculation that he may have been poisoned.
Hardly a mention was made of the court case that had been hanging over Vumazonke’s head.
Instead, he was remembered as a loving family man. The father of five young children, he was also described a peaceful man.
Nelson Mandela Bay Taxi Council chairman Mbewana Matomane said he had met Vumazonke when he was still a youngster and had employed him as a taxi driver.
Wiping away tears, Matomane said: “He was not a violent person. Sizwe was very clever [and] never gave up.
“It’s unfortunate that as parents we have certain expectations for our children, but they end up going off the rails.
“I am very worried. Sizwe has left many children. Let us pray they do not end up in courts.”
Siphiwo Pityana, a childhood friend, urged mourners to remember the good in Vumazonke.
“This was a peaceful man. He loved and lived for his children and family. He loved people,” Pityana said.