Death of a humble waiter stirs Twitter hearts
It was a simple friendship but it meant the world to radio sports editor Cindy Poluta.
So when the man she picked up in her car every morning disappeared, she set out to find him ... only to discover he had been stabbed to death.
On Friday, Poluta tweeted the story of her friendship with hotel waiter Mmangaliseni "Alfred" Goge, 58, leaving a trail of tears across SA and sparking a flood of tributes.
Poluta said she met Goge about three years ago when she stopped to offer him a lift to the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
"I haven't seen him the last two weeks, his phone is off," said Poluta, 30. "Today I went to his work. 'Hi, I'm looking for my friend Alfred, he works here? I haven't seen him in a while and I'm wondering where he is.'
"Her expression said it all. My friend Alfred was mugged and stabbed in Soweto. I collapsed. Shattered."
Poluta said she would meet Goge's wife, Aggy, on Wednesday to "tell her I'm so sorry. Tell her he mattered." She said Goge was killed on February 2.
Among the hundreds of people who replied to Poluta was fellow media figure Levi Kabwato, who said his colleague was "inconsolable" after learning of the death of "a humble gentleman who used to make her the best coffee at the hotel".
Michelle Blake told Poluta the thread made her weep. "We live in such a brutal world, but you both cared, made a difference and changed the narrative. Alfred, RIP."
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