THE LATE Beitbridge tycoon Christian Malila Ndou who died in a horrific helicopter crash last Sunday, was buried yesterday amid revelations by Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi that he had confided in him that he was tired of using cars for his trips to South Africa.
Ndou whose home is in Tshamnanga village, was buried at his boyhood village of Siyoka after he wrote in his will that he wanted to be laid to rest next to his father’s grave.
The businessman died on the spot at the Maphane area, 6km outside Gwanda town from multiple injuries after he was struck by the chopper’s rotor blades as he tried to jump to safety.
His body was severed into pieces and mourners were yesterday not allowed to view the remains. Mohadi described Ndlovu as a man of the people.
“He was a man of the people who would help anyone. He interacted with all the people regardless of their status and his death is a loss not only to the Malila family but to the nation at large,” the minister said.
“As his (business) empire grew, he told me he was tired of driving across South Africa and wanted a helicopter. We were happy for him when he acquired one, but little did we know it was going to take his life.”
Ndou’s sister, Mashudu, said the family had lost a humble man who was very helpful.
“He assisted a lot of people and in short, I can say a giant has fallen,” she said.
Mohadi said Ndou deserved to be honoured as he had served in the struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence.
“During that time we were being forced into the army and Ndou was part of those who underwent military training and worked in the intelligence,” he said.
“As the government, we would have loved to give him a sendoff befitting of a soldier, but as you may be aware his wish was to be buried here.”
The minister said Ndou had received a State-assisted funeral.
Zanu PF chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo in his condolence message, described Ndou as a “true example of a patriot”.
Ndou was born in Beitbridge in 1960 and attended school at Siyoka and Beitbridge town.
Ndou left for South Africa soon after independence to pursue business interests and ran a thriving security company.
The wealthy businessman is survived by his wife and six children. Senator Tambudzani Mohadi, Beitbridge West parliamentarian Metrine Mudau, Aaron Maboyi Ncube and former Matabeleland South Zanu PF chairman Llyod Siyoka were among the mourners. The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe is still investigating the cause of the crash.