The sudden death of much-loved businessman Dennis Wevell (63) on Sunday has sent shock waves through the Mbombela and White River communities.
Wevell was the owner of several well-known establishments, including Riverside’s Milky Lane, the Wimpy and Mugg & Bean in White River, as well as the new Wimpy at Makro in Mbombela. He also devoted his substantial energy and entrepreneurial vision to supporting Laerskool Laeveld and primary schools in Mataffin.
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Wevell’s wife, Helena, said, “No one could ever wish for a better husband, father, friend, colleague or employer. As a mentor, he encouraged and empowered everyone to be the best version of themselves.”
According to long-time friend Cobus Tomlinson, Wevell had a wide circle of friends and was held in high esteem throughout the Lowveld.
“He was tremendously admired and loved by all. He had such an incredibly open heart for his community and went out of his way to ensure the people who worked for him were looked after, especially during Covid,” Tomlinson said.
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Hi-Tech Medical Services’ operations manager, Elmarie Prinsloo, said its control room had received an emergency call from one of its guards in Riverside Mall on Sunday. It related to a man, found in the guardroom there, with a gunshot wound. Hi-Tech immediately dispatched an ambulance and alerted the police.
On arrival, the Hi-Tech ambulance team immediately started investigating and ensuring the integrity of the scene. The police arrived shortly after.
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Prinsloo said, “Having secured the scene against all contamination and done a comprehensive on-site investigation, the SAPS pathology van was able to remove the deceased.”
The police opened an inquest* into his death. Official police records indicate that he had died of a gunshot wound in the guardroom in Riverside Mall.
Tomlinson said, “Dennis was under an enormous amount of pressure. He had so many businesses and people he looked after. He was a man of extraordinary vision and determination. Our deepest condolences go to his family. We are missing you, my brother of another mother.”
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His wife said, “We are comforted that he is now at the feet of his heavenly Father, just as he was while he was here on Earth. We will see each other again”.
Riverside Mall’s marketing manager, Nomfundo Nhlapo, confirmed his death.
“The mall management is taking appropriate measures to provide emotional support to its staff at this sad time.
“Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family during this very difficult time,” she said.
*Inquest proceedings are used to determine the circumstances surrounding occurrences of unnatural death.