Body of slain ex-rugby player Lindani Myeni arrives this week for burial in KZN
By Sakhiseni Nxumalo 13m ago
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Durban – LINDANI Myeni’s family said on Sunday that they were relieved that they would be able to lay to rest the slain 29-year-old at his home in KwaZulu-Natal.
Myeni’s family said that his remains would be arriving in the country on Friday, after the Consul-General in Miami indicated that the US government had released Myeni’s body and it was currently being kept at a local funeral parlour.
The KZN-born former rugby player from Empangeni was shot dead by Honolulu police in the island state of Hawaii, in the US, two weeks ago.
Myeni, his wife Lindsay and children had moved to the island early last year.
According to the Hawaiian police, Myeni was shot dead when officers were responding to a home burglary incident. When the police arrived at the scene, a scuffle occurred between Myeni and three officers outside a home.
Myeni is alleged to have punched and injured three officers, with one of the officers opening fire on Myeni.
Speaking to The Mercury yesterday, Myeni’s uncle, Andlile Xaki, said they appreciated the assistance of the South African government which had been engaging the US government regarding the repatriation process.
Xaki said the family approached the government as they knew that it would be very expensive and difficult to repatriate Myeni’s body if they had to attempt it as a family.
“This is what the family wanted, and it’s also what his wife wished for. It is a relief to know that we will be able to lay him to rest in his home town, where he was born.”
He said that as pleased and relieved as they were about him coming home, it was still a painful time for the family.
“I cannot say we are happy that he is returning home because his body is lifeless. However, it’s a huge relief which I believe will ease some of the pain and heartbreak that is weighing on our shoulders.”
He said that the family had yet to meet and engage about the preparations for Myeni’s memorial service and funeral.
“It might be next week. However, we are still going to meet on that,” he said.
He added that they were mostly worried about Myeni’s grandmother, who was very close to him.
Meanwhile, the family had raised over R400 000 through a Go Fund Me page which was set up to help bring Myeni’s remains home to South Africa for burial.
Xaki said that they were grateful for the generosity of those who had donated.
He said that as the government had assisted them with the body’s repatriation, the money from the fund would be used for legal representatives as the family wanted justice.
“We still demand justice for Lindani. We will be able to use this money to pay the lawyers. We won’t rest until we get justice,” added Xaki.
Speaking during a media briefing yesterday, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said the provincial government was saddened that Myeni was caught up in the ongoing spate of attacks by law enforcement authorities which were apparently targeted at black people in the US.
This objectionable behaviour should be condemned, said Zikalala.
He said the investigations into the shooting must be conducted thoroughly. “Justice must be served in this case,” he said.
He said the provincial government was in regular contact with the Myeni family.
“The family reported that Myeni’s body will depart the US on Tuesday (tomorrow). It will arrive in South Africa, OR Tambo International Airport, on Friday,” said Zikalala.