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Yesterday — May 7th 2021Your RSS feeds

‘I need SA citizenship, it’s not safe in the US’ – Lindani Myeni’s widow

May 7th 2021 at 07:18

Lindsay Myeni, the widow of slain KZN rugby player Lindani Myeni, has pleaded with the South African government to give her citizenship – citing fears about the safety of her children if they stay in the US.

Lindani Myeni latest: Wife Lindsay ‘seeking safety in SA’

The 29-year-old victim was shot dead by police last month, who suspected him of breaking and entering. However, bodycam footage from the incident shows a particularly brutal response by the cops in Hawaii. Lindsay is now embroiled in a legal battle with the Honolulu Police Department – but has her eyes on a long-term future in South Africa.

Mrs Lindsay Myeni addressing the media after the memorial service of her husband #LindaniMyeni pic.twitter.com/8iQfemCsYe

— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) May 6, 2021

Family of Lindani Myeni plotting move away from US

Mrs Myeni has been flown over alongside the repatriated body of her husband this week. While attending his memorial, Lindsay made it clear that she does now want to stay in America with ‘children who are considered black’. After several recent high-profile killings of African-Americans by police officers, the Myenis see South Africa as a safer location:

“My next steps, honestly, I need help from the SA government to get me citizenship so I can stay in my children’s home country without my husband. People think when you are married citizenship to each other’s countries is automatic but it takes five years each side.”

“We’ve always wanted the flexibility to be in whichever country the kids can prosper most and right now I feel like this is the safest country for them. I don’t want to raise kids that are considered black in America, where it’s clearly not safe.”

Joe Biden, Barack Obama ‘asked to help’

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala also attended the service, offering his deepest condolences to the Myeni family. He remains utterly unsatisfied by the police response to Lindani’s death – and wants the biggest names in US politics to intervene:

“We pin our hopes on US President, Joe Biden, that his intervention might help the wheels of justice to turn with speed. We also pray for former US president Barack Obama’s mediation, who hails from Hawaii, in bringing the killers of Lindani to book. Lindani Myeni is one of our own and his life matters dearly to his family and to us as his nation.” | Sihle Zikalala

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

Lindani Myeni death: ‘Senseless murder of black people by police continues in US’

May 1st 2021 at 13:45

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza demanded justice for the shooting of Lindani Myeni, allegedly by US police, adding that the US government should “hang its head in shame” as it had become a slaughterhouse for black people.

Myeni’s body arrived at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday. A prayer session was held at the airport.

Khoza said Myeni would not become another statistic of a black man killed by the US police.

Former US president Barack Obama and incumbent Joe Biden must ensure that those who killed Myeni face the law, she said.

“The hostility displayed by the trigger-happy Honolulu police has revived wounds,” she said.

RELATED: Lindani Myeni’s body arrives in SA as US police release recording of 911 call

“Today we are supposed to celebrate Workers’ Day, instead we are here at OR Tambo, mourning our son of the soil whose shining light was diminished by the brutal hands of policemen.”

She added: “This is a sad indictment on Americans that their country continues to be associated with the senseless murder of black people by their police. The murder of our son has reminded us of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and public lynching of black people in America, and South Africa’s recent past when black people suffered untold brutality at the hands of an apartheid regime and its security forces. The time has come to be vocal and condemning the [violence] of the police who kill people of black descent.”

Family member Pastor B Nhleko said Myeni used to show her his rugby skills.

“He would mimic a tackle showing me how he plays rugby, but now he won’t be able to do that with me again.”

She thanked Myeni’s wife, Lindsay, for fighting to have her husband’s remains brought to South Africa.

Nhleko said Lindsay was planning to spend time in South Africa.

“Lindsay has brought piles of her luggage and other stuff with her because she still need to stay here. She said she would be happy to spend time here so that the two children know where they come from… she wants her firstborn, Ntsizwa, to attend school here in South Africa.”

Myeni will be buried in KwaZulu-Natal, his home province.

The 29-year-old former rugby player was shot multiple times, allegedly by Honolulu police in Hawaii.

In a recorded telephone call to 911 – obtained by eNCA – a woman is heard screaming and crying that a man was at her house.

The woman is heard in the recording saying Myeni was unarmed. She tells the operator that “he says he [Myeni] is from South Africa”. She responds that she doesn’t know Myeni.

The operator then tells her that police are on the way. The arrival of the police ended with Myeni being shot multiple times.

His death drew widespread condemnation in the US where police killing of civilians led to #BlackLivesMatter protests across the US.

Lindsay plans to sue the Honolulu police department.

[Watch] Lindani Myeni’s body arrives in SA ahead of funeral

May 1st 2021 at 08:49

It was no doubt a tough day for the family of Lindani Myeni, as his remains arrived in South Africa on Saturday morning, 1 May 2021.

Myeni’s body touched down at OR Tambo International Airport, via a British Airways flight. It is understood his remains were transported from Honolulu, Hawaii to Texas then to London’s Heathrow Airport before finally arriving on home soil.

Lindani returns home, to lie in eternal rest in the fertile soil of the African garden and next to his next of kin. #LindaniMyeni pic.twitter.com/e0szgpiORz

— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) May 1, 2021

A prayer service was held not long after the body arrived. Myeni’s wife Lindsay, sitting alongside her late husband’s family members, was visibly distraught at the proceedings.

KZN MEC slams US for Lindani Myeni’s death

Representing the KwaZulu-Natal government was Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said the United States (US) should bury its head in shame for Lindani Myeni’s passing.

“You have just become a slaughterhouse of our black brothers,” she said.

“We are supposed to commemorate International Worker’s Day, instead we are here at Oliver Tambo International Airport to bemoan and mourn the senseless killing of our beacon of hope whose shining light has been extinguished by the brutal hands of policemen”

KZN Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza

Khoza added that Myeni’s death was a sad inditement on Americans, whose police officers continue killing unarmed black men – something which was highlighted across the globe back in 2020.

“His murder has, if anything, diminished the little hope that there will be sudden change in police attitudes after the globally reported murder of George Floyd. For our part as the provincial government and the country, we will refuse that (Lindani Myeni) becomes another statistic in the long list of black women and black men who are murdered by America, which is supposed to be the land of the free”

After the service, Myeni’s body was taken to his home province of KZN, where he will be laid to rest on Saturday, 8 May 2021.

As they embark on a long and painful journey back to eSikhawini, today, we pray that the journey will be safe and free of incidents. #LindaniMyeni #JusticeforLindaniMyeni pic.twitter.com/IBHiD0vMn3

— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) May 1, 2021

While calls mount for justice, prosecutors in Hawaii have announced plans to launch an independent investigation into Myeni’s fatal shooting and that of a 16 year-old boy, also at the hands of Honolulu police.

“I am assigning teams of seasoned prosecutors and investigators to each separate shooting incident involving civilians. They have extensive experience both in the state system and the federal system to investigate each of these recent cases starting with the one in Nuuanu and on Kawakawa,” said prosecutor Steve Alm.

[Listen] 911 call made before Lindani Myeni shooting

May 1st 2021 at 07:27

The Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii, the United States (US) have released the 911 call which was made by the woman who claimed Lindani Myeni was breaking into her home.

The call was made on the evening of 14 April 2021, just before Myeni was fatally shot by police. They were responding to the call from a house in Nuʻuanu, not far from where Myeni stayed with his wife and two young kids.

On the call, a frantic woman can be heard telling the 911 dispatcher that a man had entered her house. At times during the call, the dispatcher struggles to hear the woman as she sounds petrified and can barely finish a sentence.

In the beginning of the call, the 911 dispatcher asks the woman to describe what the man (Myeni) looked like, so it would be easier for law enforcement officers to identify him.

“What is he Asian, White, Black? Hello, what kind of ethnicity is he? Officers are on the way, can you tell me what he looks like”

“I don’t know if he knows our owner or not but he just like…come here and say some strange words,” she replied.

She is also asked whether she knew the man in her home, to which she responded, “I don’t know him.”

“Is he white? Is he Black? Is he local?” the dispatcher asked. The woman eventually answered, “Black.”

Listen to the Lindani Myeni 911 call here

Please note: Some may find the audio disturbing

At the same time, Lindani Myeni’s body arrived in South Africa on Saturday, 1 May 2021 and will then be transported to KwaZulu-Natal, where he will be laid to rest.

Prosecutors in Hawaii have since announced plans to launch an independent investigation into the death of Myeni anda 16 year-old boy, who was also fatally shot by local police.

“I am assigning teams of seasoned prosecutors and investigators to each separate shooting incident involving civilians. They have extensive experience both in the state system and the federal system to investigate each of these recent cases starting with the one in Nuuanu and on Kawakawa,” said prosecutor Steve Alm.

Lindani Myeni latest: Former rugby player’s body to arrive in SA

May 1st 2021 at 02:52

The body of Lindani Myeni, the South African man shot dead by police in the United States (US), is set to arrive in the country on Saturday morning, 1 May 2021.

Myeni’s body is reported to have first departed Honolulu International Airport on Tuesday, before making stops in Dallas, Texas, followed by London Heathrow on Thursday.

Government had first said his remains would arrive on Friday, but there was a change of plans.

“Just minor amendments on the arrival of Mr Lindani Myeni’s mortal remains. The arrival of the body will be now Saturday 10:40 at OR Tambo International Airport. Mr Myeni’s body will be handed over to family at 12:40,” government said.

He will be laid to rest on 8 May in KwaZulu-Natal.

Myeni, a KZN-born former rugby player, was shot dead by police in Hawaii, the United States (US) earlier in the month.

American police officers have long been accused of being heavy-handed towards black men, and in a number of instances, the men have died.

While police have released some footage of their exchange with Myeni on that fateful day, his wife believes there’s still some evidence being hidden.

Lindani Myeni’s wife wants US officers jailed for his fatal shooting

Lindsay Myeni, the wife of Lindani Myeni, is continuing in her quest for justice and wants the officers implicated in his fatal shooting brought to book.

Speaking outside Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday, 30 April 2021, Myeni said police still had some of her late husband’s possessions.

“The investigators told me that he had passed. They met me at hospital because I went looking for my husband and I didn’t know where he was. I got a tip from someone that he might have been involved in a shooting,” she said.

“There are so many unanswered questions, We just want his belongings back and I would like for those officers to serve jail time. I can’t continue to speculate, I won’t have peace. I need the evidence. We are suing the city of Honolulu. I just know that he was shot in the leg and three times on the chest.”

Lindsay Myeni, Lindani Myeni’s wife

Myeni’s family is set to take legal action against police for his death.

So far, US police have denied that his race had anything to do with how their scuffle with him played out.

“Officers administered first aid to the suspect and the man was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He died of his injuries at the hospital. The three responding officers were also taken to the hospital for multiple injuries,” Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said.

Lindani Myeni’s wife to sue Hawaii police

April 30th 2021 at 15:41

As the family prepares for the return of the remains of Lindani Myeni, allegedly killed by police in Hawaii, his wife has indicated she plans to sue for wrongful death.

Lindsay Myeni, the wife of the former KwaZulu-Natal rugby player, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Honolulu police, Pretoria News reported.

The couple met in South Africa and moved to the United States.

According to the paper, Lindsay said Myeni’s’ shooting was race-related. She also said her husband was not shot at a private home, but at an illegal holiday rental.

ALSO READ: Nearly R300k raised to bring Lindani Myeni’s body home from Hawaii

She believes he was killed because of his race and accent.

“The whole burglary story is a lie. Why would he take off his shoes and rob a house? It is sad that black people should live their lives looking over their shoulders.”

Speaking to EWN, Lindsay said: “If it was me, and the whole situation happened the exact same way, I’d be standing here right now. But because he’s black… he’s not.”

She said they moved to Hawaii because they were worried about police violence against black men on the US mainland.

Myeni, a father of two, was shot multiple times by Honolulu police when they responded to an alleged home invasion.

Police defended their actions, saying they had to use lethal force after they were allegedly attacked by Myeni.

The family’s lawyer, Luke Korkowski, previously told News24 the 29-year-old’s death resulted from poorly-trained police officers.

ALSO READ: Hawaii police release bodycam footage of cops shooting Lindani Myeni

His body will arrive at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday morning.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial government spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, said the premier, Sihle Zikalala, was sending a delegation, including the MEC of social development, Nonhlanhla Khoza, to be with the family when the body arrives.

“The family will get the body around 12:00. There will be a short prayer service inside the airport, and it will be transported to KZN,” Mabaso said.

Hawaii police release bodycam footage of cops shooting Lindani Myeni

April 17th 2021 at 11:47

The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) has released shocking bodycam footage of the fatal officer-involved shooting of a South African man in the US.

Hawaii police shot 29-year-old Lindani Myeni multiple times when they responded to a call about a burglary in progress.

In the footage, the first officer on the scene sees a woman crying hysterically and pointing at someone. The officer can be heard asking: “Where you at?” and the woman replies: “He’s stealing the car”.

The officers didn’t identify themselves when they approached an unarmed Myeni and pointed a gun at him, ordering him to get down on the ground. A fight ensued and Myeni was tased before several shots were fired at him.

Only after the shooting can an officer be heard calling out “Police!”

Honolulu police defended the police’s actions, saying the officers defended themselves against a violent suspect who attacked them first. According to Hawaii News Now, three officers were injured in the incident.

The married father of two hailed from KwaZulu-Natal. He moved to Hawaii in January and was married to Lindsay, a US citizen.

A former rugby player, Myeni’s old teammates and managers back home disputed the police’s version of events.

ALSO READ: SA ‘burglary suspect’ killed by cops in Hawaii

They told News24 that Myeni was disciplined and kind and denied that he was violent.

In a Facebook post, Lindsay said he had gone for a drive to clear his mind on the evening he was killed. She added that Myeni had a green card interview scheduled for next week.

“I called and he said he was on his way home at 19:52. By 20:10 cops had shot him four times. How can you justify that?! What happened in 18 MINUTES?? What do I tell my babies when they cry for him???? He has my heart. I will never find a perfect love like him. He was indescribable. He’s grown into a noble man. Righteous but not self-righteous. Loving and wise. He was too good for this broken world. He was born at Queen Nandi hospital [in KwaZulu-Natal] and passed at Queen Emma’s hospital,” she wrote.

NOTE: Videos may be too graphic for sensitive viewers

@honolulupolice just released body-worn camera footage from the police shooting of 29-year-old Lindani Sanele Myeni. pic.twitter.com/QdUSFqXjWQ

— Mark Ladao (@krameleon) April 17, 2021

In another post, Lindsay said their baby daughter thought her father was going to come home.

“We need justice. They must release the body cams and show us what happened. Why are three trained officers afraid of one unarmed man? They just left me a widow at 29, with two babies in diapers. You gotta be kidding me.”

News24 has approached the Myeni’s family attorney, Luke Korkowski, for comment, which will be added once received.

Here’s the second of the two videos the department released. pic.twitter.com/VRycQTo8Fj

— Mark Ladao (@krameleon) April 17, 2021

Korkowski told KHON2 News that the video did not show any evidence to justify the fatal shooting.

“What Mr Myeni sees is a flashlight in his face, no identification of who’s yelling at him and a command to get on the ground,” Korkowski said.

“He’s from South Africa. There’s a lot of crime there. It’s not uncommon to be accosted,” he added.

SA ‘burglary suspect’ killed by cops in Hawaii

April 16th 2021 at 13:42

 

A South African man has reportedly been shot and killed by police in Hawaii, USA.

The South African, identified by HawaiiNewsNow as 29-year-old Lindani Myeni, was reportedly killed during an altercation with police in Nuuanu on Wednesday night.

The shooting happened after officers responded to a call of a burglary in progress.

His death left family and friends shocked, with many back home sharing on social media that they did not know Myeni as a violent person.

ALSO READ: Could this SA-born man keep George Floyd’s ‘killer’ out of jail?

Contacted for comment, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson (Dirco) Lunga Ngqengelele said: “The matter has been brought to the attention of the department and we are awaiting a report from our mission.”

Honolulu police department chief, Susan Ballard, reportedly said three police officers initially tried non-lethal force, including a taser, before shooting and killing a man, who had repeatedly been punching the officers.

According to the report, he had walked into a house, sat down, took off his shoes and attempted to speak to the homeowners.

Ballard said, when police arrived on the scene, a fight broke out after instructions to stop and get on the ground were apparently ignored.

Myeni lived in Hawaii with his American-born wife, Lindsay, who he met in South Africa. The couple reportedly moved to the island at the beginning of the year.

On Thursday, his wife, Lindsay, told HawaiiNewsNow the incident could have been caused by cultural differences between the KwaZulu-Natal born Myeni and locals.

“He’s the most gentle person… and the best father,” she told the news outlet.

Lindsay reportedly denied that Myeni committed a burglary, saying the family had money.

She told KHON2 she had no idea why he was at the house in question.

Vincent Msane shared on Facebook: “Crime is everywhere, granted, but I find it very difficult to read in one sentence – Lindani Myeni and burglary. It’s true a dead man tells no story. The deceased was my friend back here in South Africa, he played rugby, hence his ‘threatening’ body build, but he was no thug.”

Qinisani Qwabe said on Twitter: “Never been this shattered. The guy that everyone wanted to be in Junior Secondary. Very humble and respectful. Went to America with his lovely family, little did he know that’d be his final destination. We love you bro.”

According to the Zululander Observer, Lindsay was carrying out missionary work in Durban in 2015 when she met Myeni.

The couple have two small children.

Additional reporting by Malibongwe Dayimani and Jenna Etheridge

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