Noxolo Maqashalala’s relatives turned away by security at her complex days before her body was found. Where were they? How did no one find her body sooner?
These are some of the questions that were asked when South Africans found out that actress Noxolo Maqashalala had been dead for days before she was found.
But they did try to get in, her family tells us. They were turned away by the security at her complex.
Noxolo (44) was a renowned actress who was found dead in her Honeydew home on Friday and family spokesperson Pastor Khabo Nyikiza says her brother Wandile had tried to reach out to his sister for something and when he could not reach her, he asked his girlfriend to go to her place.
“The girlfriend was turned away by the security because they could not reach her on the phone in order to get an exit code,” he says, adding that at that point no one could have ever imagined that she was not answering because she had died.
Speaking to Drum, Pastor Nyikiza says the family is still struggling to come to terms with her sudden death.
“It was not too unusual to not be able to reach her because of her work and would be often out of touch if she was busy in studio, shooting something. No one thought she was quiet because she was no longer with us.”
He says her body was found laying next to her bed and that as far as they knew, she was not sick.
“This is just a huge blow to all of us,” he says.
She did not have a car, so there was no telling if she was home or not, Pastor Nyikiza says.
Security expert Xolani Williams* says as unfortunate as it is, the security guard did the right thing by not manually opening for Wandile’s girlfriend.
“Even if a person is a frequent visitor or a family member, the security guard has no business opening for that person without the consent of the tenant. Security guards are governed by rules too. These rules come from the Access Control Act as well as rules from the body corporates of the different estates and complexes.
“The duty of the security guard, in this instance, is to ensure the safety of all tenants, and to prohibit any unauthorised entry. Unfortunately even if a mother says they have travelled overnight from the villages and they want to see their child who is a tenant, the security guard cannot open for them without the consent of the tenant, even if they do not have anywhere to sleep. They must go to the nearest police station if they cannot afford to book alternative accommodation,” he says.
Xolani further says security guards cannot simply use their discretion willy nilly.
“I know people think security guards are difficult and they refuse to think outside the rules, but the truth is that their jobs are on the line. Should anything happen to the tenants or their property, the security guard can be held liable or lose their jobs.” They have to be strict and rigid; it is simply the nature of their job.
At that point, the guard did not know if the tenant did not want to see her relatives or if she was avoiding them.
Manually opening for the relatives would have been a breach of the tenant’s privacy. It is a pity that the lady had died, but on that Wednesday, she had already passed, if we go by reports that she had been dead for a week already when she was found.”
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Xolani says maybe body corporates will want to revisit their rules, to make provision such instances, but he doubts anything will change.
Angor, one of the biggest residential property management agencies in the country, are also strict on their security policy.
According to their website, they have over 45 000 units under their care, 450 unique body corporates and homeowners associations trust accounts.
“No person shall be permitted to enter the complex without first identifying themselves via the intercom system.”
Noxee, as she was affectionately known will be buried on March 19 in Kwa Bhaca, Eastern Cape, and her memorial service will be at the Market Theatre, Gauteng, at 12pm on March 24.
* Not his real name as he’s not allowed to speak to the media