Memorial held for Dumisani Joxo who was killed, allegedly by a Cape Town officer

Joxo, a homeless man, was shot on 9 January 2022

By Marecia Damons

14 January 2022

Friends and family of Dumisani Joxo gathered to honour his life at a memorial service on Friday. Photo: Marecia Damons

Friends, members of the Chester Road community, and neighbours of Dumisani Joxo gathered to remember his life at a memorial service on Friday in Rondebosch, Cape Town.

The service was held with the assistance of housing advocacy group Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU). The ceremony, attended by more than 50 people, took place in Chester Road where Joxo was fatally shot, allegedly by a City of Cape Town Law Enforcement officer, on Sunday 9 January.

The officer, Luvolwethu Kati, was charged with murder in the Wynberg Magistrates Court on Tuesday. He is accused of shooting Joxo, apparently after a scuffle broke out over the dousing of a fire. Joxo was shot in the mouth and later died.

Kati was released on R1,000 bail and the case was postponed to April for further investigation.

Joxo, at the time of his death, was living in a settlement near the Liesbeek River Trail in Rondebosch with his partner Christin Coleridge. About a dozen people live in the settlement.

Originally from Butterworth in the Eastern Cape, Joxo’s younger brother Mzwanele Joxo, said he moved to Cape Town a decade ago in search for a better life.

He described Joxo as a selfless person who would always share with others regardless of how little he had. “My heart is broken,” he said.

Messages of support and ribbons were also tied on a fence in honour of Joxo.

Joxo is survived by Coleridge, his three younger brothers and his parents in the Eastern Cape.

The City of Cape Town and NU have been involved in a war of words since the shooting.

“This is at least the third murder committed by the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Unit in the last two years,” NU stated. The organisation claims that four days prior to the shooting incident, Joxo was “brutally assaulted by members of the South African Police Service for no apparent reason. He had a broken rib at the time of his death.”

The City has accused NU of prejudging the case. “Despite not being on the scene at the time, Ndifuna Ukwazi are campaigning for endorsements of their version of events outside of due legal processes,” the City’s media office wrote earlier this week. “Law enforcement officers were responding to an open fire in an urban area, which is a hazard with potential consequences that our city and its residents know all too well.”

Following the memorial service, Chris Nissen of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), said although the SAHRC has been engaging with provincial and national governments to find a durable solution for homelessness, homeless people cannot continue “being criminalised the way they have been in the city”.

“Homeless people have rights like anybody else,” he said.

“We have to let the law take its course. But at the same time we need to ask the question: What are the instructions given to Law Enforcement officers when they have to deal with homeless people? We need to hold people accountable,” said Nissen

The City has committed to cooperating with the South African Police Service investigation into the shooting.