The family of slain Rand Water top executive Teboho Joala hopes that justice will be served for the murder of their loved one.
Chief shared services officer Joala was shot and killed on Monday during a community function in Zakariyya Park, south of Johannesburg, during a ceremony to donate school shoes and uniforms.
Joala and his bodyguard were shot in full view of primary school pupils from five different schools who had gathered at the local community hall.
On Friday, Sunday World paid a visit to Joala’s family at Mooikloof, a posh neighbourhood on Pretoria’s rural outskirts. The obviously distraught family denied rumours that Joala had been getting death threats before his murder.
Ntsane Joala, Joala’s brother, claimed that because the family was unaware of his brother’s adversaries, they had kept silent about their tragic loss.
He characterised his brother as a gentle man who loved his family. “I was very close to my brother. I would have known if there were any death threats against him,” Ntsane said.
“We have been numbed by the kind of pain we feel. We lack words to explain the shock we have experienced.”
According to witnesses, an unidentified individual entered the Zakariyya Park hall, walked up to Joala, and fired multiple shots at him and his security before fleeing the area.
Speculation is rife that the murder was a hit organised by persons who were disgruntled about changed fortunes regarding tenders at Rand Water.
Liabo Setho, Joala’s sister-in-law, said the family was still coming to terms with the way he was killed.
“We may not know what happened behind the scenes, but we can attest to his character. How do you even begin to rationalise this, that someone who is either your husband or father was killed in a senseless murder? There will never be a reasonable explanation.
“Because of the nature of how this thing happened, it is inevitable that people will have questions. He was killed like a hardcore criminal, like a dog, like he’s been on the wanted list for a very long time. He was murdered like they wanted to remove him from the face of the earth because he was a danger, but that is not who he was,” said Setho.
Setho disclosed Joala’sown enthusiasm was behind the school material donation, rather than it being a Rand Water programme. “He was extremely generous, not only with what comes from his pocket but with knowledge as well.”
She said the killers had taken someone who was dear not only to them as the family but to many other people he helped in life.
“People have a right to speculate, we do not have control over that. We know what we know, that Teboho was a good man. We do not have a scoop for you, we do not have the answers,” Setho said.
At his memorial ceremony, which took place in Vereeniging on Thursday, friends and co-workers praised Joala for being dependable, cheerful and committed to his job and community.
Lesego Makhubela, the ANC Gauteng spokesperson and Joala’s political ally in Tshwane, was reportedly quoted as saying that Joala was accompanied by multiple bodyguards when he was assassinated. That suggested that Joala was under constant danger of death until the day he was killed, according to Makhubela.
Joala is survived by his wife and three children, two boys and a girl.
He will be laid to rest on Sunday (today) at Pretoria East Cemetery.