Murdered head of South African Broadcasting Corporation Legal Services Sizwe Vilakazi has been laid to rest at Brakpan cemetery, east of Johannesburg.
Vilakazi served as the head of the broadcasters legal services for just over a year, before being gunned down in his bottlestore in Tsakane last weekend.
Vilakazi was remembered as a diligent and passionate litigator and loving father to six children.
Speakers at the funeral service, held at the Ekurhuleni World Outreach Centre, emphasised his love for the law and how he would always use his knowledge to uplift and empower those around him.
Acting CEO of the SABC, Nomsa Philiso, says he contributed greatly to the broadcaster and that his presence will be sorely missed by his colleagues:
“We’re losing people in critical areas, we’re losing people of the core business. We’re becoming very thin with the losses – so it’s difficult, and this is over and above all our other challenges… and still we expect our teams to rise, but the one thing I always say about the SABC in the face of adversity and I’m hoping that they’ll dig deep and one more time rise as they always do.”
Vilakazi was known to strive for accountability within the broadcaster, and his death is described as a loss, not only to the SABC, but to the country.
Newly appointed chairperson of the SABC board, Bongumusa Makhatini, remembers him as a great legal mind. He says he hopes the law can take its course swiftly to ensure closure for everybody touched by this loss.
“We hope and trust that the law enforcement agencies will do everything in their power to get to the bottom of this. At this stage we haven’t had any updates from the police, and we want to give them space really to do a thorough job in investigating and getting to the bottom of it… and I’m calling on everybody concerned to really give the police space to do their work without being pressurised without any speculation or interference of any nature.”
Vilakazi died on Saturday, 4 November, after being shot as he locked up his liquor store in Tsakane.
He was 42 years old at the time of his death.
Police have called on anybody with any information that could assist in their investigations to come forward.