Johannesburg: Dumi Masilela’s younger brother, Mbongeni, said just hours before he died, the slain Rhythm City actor urged him to be strong for the family.
“He told me I had to be strong and that he’d also be strong for me and the family,” said Mbongeni outside the family’s Kempton Park home.
Masilela,29 was with a friend in a white Golf 7 in Tembisa when they were approached by a black Jeep on Wednesday evening. The Jeep’s two occupants apparently tried to hijack them. Masilela drove away and the hijackers opened fire on the vehicle.
“The wounded Masilela could drive to a certain point, then his friend took over and drove him to hospital, where he died this morning,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant Kay Makhubela on Thursday.
Mbongeni said the Rhythm City actor was shot in the waist and the bullet had damaged many of his organs.
The family is angry about the way he died.
“I cannot lie to you, it has been tough. Last year we lost our father, and now it’s Dumi. My mother is a strong, praying woman,” said Mbongeni.
His aunt also died this week.
Mbongeni described his brother as a determined fighter who, after a serious car accident in his early twenties, battled to recover.
“Doctors told him he’d never walk again. He stopped his soccer career [he played for the national Under-23 side and SuperSport United] and it was painful to see him suffering,” he said.
Mbongeni spoke of how his brother loved his wife, Simphiwe Ngema, and said they were “like magnets attracting each other. They were inseparable.”
Masilela married the actress a few months ago in a traditional ceremony.
Ngema was by his side as Masilela went into theatre, but he died while doctors tried to save his life.
“It’s been hard for Simphiwe and my mother – they’re not coping at all,” Mbongeni said.
On Friday, Makhubela said police recovered the Jeep used in the attempted hijacking abandoned in Ivory Park. The Jeep had been hijacked from its owner in Daveyton on Wednesday.
A memorial service will be held at the Kempton Park Civic Theatre and the funeral at Hope Restoration Ministries Church in Kempton Park on Saturday. Times are yet to be confirmed.