THE death of South African rugby player Lindani Myeni at the hands of US police in Honolulu has aroused shock and anger in his homeland, prompting protests and calls for justice.
The 29-year-old sportsman, who was unarmed, was shot dead by police on April 14. His wife Lindsay Myeni had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the police.
South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress spokesman Pule Mabe condemned the murder, calling for an investigation.
‘The ANC is confident the South African government will do everything possible within its power to get a full report from the American authorities on the circumstances that led to the death of Mr Myeni in the hands of the police,’ he said.
From Myeni’s home province, Kwazulu Natal Provincial Premier Sihle Zikalala said: ‘We are saddened that one of our own countrymen has been caught up in the ongoing spate of attacks by law enforcement authorities, which are apparently targeted at Black people in the United States.
‘This objectionable behavior should be condemned. Investigations must be thoroughly conducted.’
As soon as Myeni’s killing news reached South Africa, his compatriots took to social media to express their wrath and hurt and demand justice for his family. Some furious netizens have initiated #JusticeforLindani Myeni on social media.
The country’s third largest political party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has also marched to the US Embassy in Pretoria to voice concern over Myeni’s killing.
‘The U.S. government has been a government of apartheid and they have led the onslaught of the black man throughout the whole African continent,’ said Nqobile Mhlongo, EFF’s regional leader of Tshwane City.
Reports said Myeni was killed during a confrontation with the Hawaii police, who said they took action in response to a burglary call. However Myeni’s wife told the press that the burglary accusation was nonsense as her husband had indicated he was on his way home.