Zimbabwean Fruit Vendor Shot Dead By Guards In South Africa
A 37-year-old Zimbabwean street vendor was shot dead while trying to sell fruit in a Gauteng business complex on 09 April 2023.
GroundUp reported that Lloyd Bhebhe was allegedly shot by two private security guards in Alberton North.
Last week, activists from the African Diaspora Workers Network, Zimbabwe Solidarity Network, family members and friends of Bhebhe held a picket at the site where the street vendor was shot, demanding justice for his killing.
Bhebhe was shot by two Community Protection Service (CPS) security officers in a salon.
He was apparently seeking shelter in the salon after being chased away from another store.
Reports claim Bhebhe had an argument with one of the security guards about selling fruit at the business complex.
Mohlawuphele Zondi, a regular client at the salon, told GroundUp that several shots were fired at Bhebhe.
Another resident, Julia Pengapenga, said Bhebhe often “quarreled with security officers or business owners who did not understand that he was mentally ill. He meant no harm”.
In a statement last week, African Diaspora Workers Network, chairperson Janet Munakamwe, said:
Lloyd was mentally challenged and eked out a living by selling fruits on the streets.
Unfortunately, the perpetrators of this heinous crime simply walked away as if they had slaughtered a ‘wild animal’.
His mother, Patricia Sibanga, said that he was suffering from a mental illness. She said:
My son has been battling a mental illness for the past three years. He fell into a depression after losing his truck driver job and was battling to claim money from his old employer.
He was taking medication for his mental condition.
All he wanted was to earn a living to help look after his family.
Bhebhe is survived by his wife, their four young children, aged between two and nine, his mother and other relatives.
His body was repatriated to Zimbabwe with assistance from the Zimbabwe Solidarity Network.
He was set to be buried on Monday, 17 April 2023.