Residents rally for slain man

Residents hold a vigil in Labiance on Tuesday August 16 for petrol attendant Harrison Shumba who was stabbed to death after returning from night shift at a nearby petrol station.

The Labiance community held a night vigil on Tuesday August 16 for Harrison Shumba, a petrol attendant who was killed on his way home from night shift.

The 26-year-old’s life came to a brutal end on Saturday August 13, just after 7am, when he was stabbed repeatedly by two men who tried to rob him on his way home to Glenhaven.

This has shaken Labiance residents, especially those in College Street, where Mr Shumba was attacked.

Priscilla Lester and her family were woken by the sounds of screaming and went to look.

“When I got outside, I saw two men trying to rob Mr Shumba, one had a knife. When they saw us, they took off. I immediately called the police and the ambulance,” said Ms Lester.

“He was bleeding and had stab wounds all over his body.”

Ms Lester and her neighbours tried to get information from Mr Shumba, as they wanted to contact his family, but he was unable to speak.

She noticed the Shell-branded jacket he was wearing and decided to drive to the service station just up the road.

“When I got to the garage, I asked the guys if they knew him, and they told me that he had just come from night shift. The supervisor and two workers came with me and let his family know what had happened.”

Mr Shumba, from Malawi, had been working at the Shell Oostenberg Service Station for the past four years.

His brother, Andrew, said Harrison had come to Cape Town just over four years ago in search of a job and a better life.

“He was a very humble person who didn’t drink or bother anyone,” he said.

Andrew said his brother’s body needed to go back home to Malawi for burial.

Family and friends are now trying to raise R18 000 to cover the costs of transporting the body. They’ve raised R10 000 so far.

Shell co-owner Bertie Rossouw described Mr Shumba as a friendly person, who was always on time for work.

“He was a pleasant person to work with, and we are going to miss him.”

Ms Lester said the Labiance community was in mourning but also very fearful that the killers could return.

“Lots of the children in the road were too scared to sleep on their own that weekend.”

Residents gathered in front of the home where Mr Shumba was killed on Tuesday August 16, lighting candles and showing solidarity.

“We wanted to raise awareness in our community and show support for Mr Shumba,” said Labiance Neighbourhood Watch chairman Morné Otto.

Bellville police spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Fienie Nimb said police are investigating, but the killers are still at large. She warned the public to be vigilant.

“You need to be alert and cautious if you are walking alone. The criminals know that you are likely to have a cellphone on you, which makes you an easy target. Try to walk in groups and not to walk past dark and quiet areas, as the criminals may be waiting there,” she said.

* If you would like to help, call the garage at 021 903 5177.