MHLENGI Madonda was a young man with big dreams and aspirations.

Working as a security guard, the 24-year-old from Vlakfontein, south of Joburg, had dreams of one day owning his own security company.

But sadly, his dream came crumbling down after he met his untimely death on Tuesday, 11 January along with four of his colleagues.

This was after a heavily armed group of men invaded the Pikitup depot in Devland and mercilessly shot and killed five guards for reasons yet to be known.

The young man’s family is struggling to come to terms with his death, particularly with the manner in which his life was cut short.

Speaking to Daily Sun at their Vlakfontein home, his uncle Zibonele Mandonda (53) said they are shattered as Mhlengi had a bright future ahead and his life was beginning to take shape.

“We are heartbroken, it is even hard to speak because he was still young. There was still a lot that he wanted to do.

“Police must arrest the criminals, we’ve placed our trust in police. It still feels unreal, I don’t know if I’m dreaming or not,” he said.

Zibonele said he left him at home when he went to do his piece job. When he came back, he received the news that Mhlengi is no more.

Mhlengi's uncle Zibonele Mandonda said they are sh
Mhlengi's uncle Zibonele Mandonda said they are shuttered by the death. Photo: Christopher Moagi.

Just like many people in Joburg, Mhlengi came to Gauteng looking for a better life and a job.

This was according to his other uncle, Khanyisani Madonda (43).

He said Mhlengi came all the way from Richmond, near Pietermaritzburg in KZN where he lived with his mum and two younger siblings.

“He came here in the beginning of 2020, looking for work after he was done with school. When he got here he worked for me at my bakery, delivering bread.

“When my business wasn’t doing well, I had to let him go and he enrolled for a security course and got his security certificate.”

The family said he worked for two security companies before working for the one he was working for at the time of his death.

They said he encountered problems with the first two security companies as they allegedly struggled to pay him, or did so late.

But with the current one, which he started to work for six months ago, they said things were started to shape up and he had now started sending money home to his mum and siblings.

Khanyisani said: “We were happy as a family that he was now working a paying job, which was the initial reason that brought him to Joburg.

“He was doing a lot with the money he earned. He was supporting his mum in KZN as she is not working and was depending on him.”

He added: “We are heartbroken as we saw a bright future for him. He was someone who had dreams. He liked nice things and wished to have them.

“He said one day, he wishes to have his own security company, but now this dream will not come true.

“Even the family members in KZN they don’t know what to do, because we expected a lot from him.

He added: “Mhlengi’s death really doesn’t sit well with us, even the people in the community are sad because he was someone who loved people.”

Khanyisani said they wish that police can follow up this matter, so that the people who did this can be found.

Police spokeswoman Brigadier Brenda Muridili said cases of murder and attempted murder were opened and the provincial investigation unit would be handling the matter.