Uncle questions why nephew was taken away from his young family

Seci Banuve with a picture of his nephew Savenaca Nakuta at his home in Tavakubu, Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

A SLEEPLESS Seci Banuve spent yesterday questioning why his nephew 50-year-old Savenaca Nakuta was taken away from his young family.

Mr Banuve was grieving for the Navolau villager, who was on his way to Rakiraki with his 10-year-old son on Friday night, when he was allegedly assaulted by a group of drunken men.

According to police, Mr Nakuta was dragged out of his vehicle before he was allegedly assaulted resulting in his death.

“I got a call at around 9 o’clock from one of my relatives at the village and they kept asking me where I was,” he said. “I knew immediately that something was wrong. When they told me, I couldn’t believe it because I had just seen him a few hours before he left with his son.

“Ever since I got that call, I haven’t been able to eat or sleep.” When a team from this newspaper visited Mr Nakuta’s residence in Lautoka yesterday, the 50-year-old’s relatives were still coming to terms with the sudden loss.

“Right now, we are still asking a lot of questions like why would something like this happen? “Why would anyone want to hurt or punch someone when there is a boy in the car?”

He said it had become routine for the father and son pair to travel to Navolau Naba Dua every Friday afternoon to spend the weekend.

“His partner is a teacher in Nokonoko and leaves at Navolau with their second son whose only 4.”

He said the certified land surveyor was a man whom his colleagues and villagers depended on.

“He was someone who I could depend on to carry out the work needed to be done. “We had a small family gathering on Thursday night and I was telling him that he was going to be someone we needed in the village. “At work, I knew he was the same person with a lot of responsibilities.”

Meanwhile, police had confirmed the alleged assault on the 50-year-old.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said four men who were heavily intoxicated stopped the vehicle driven by Mr Nakuta at Ellington along the Kings Highway at about 8.30pm.

She said the victim was allegedly pulled out of the vehicle, assaulted and fell to the ground where he sustained injuries.

She added he was transferred to the Rakiraki Hospital by a passing vehicle, but was pronounced dead on arrival. “No arrests have been made as investigations continue,” she said.

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