The family of mixed martial arts fighter Liufau Tu’iha’angana Vake has reportedly been split over allegations about the four men involved in the assault that ended his life.
It is understood that the claims have divided the fighter’s maternal family and part of the paternal family.
It is understood that some family members were barred from attending the funeral service.
Kaniva News has been reliably told that members of the paternal family arrived at hospital to see Liufau’s body, but were told to leave.
It is believed that two separate prayer, cultural and farewell services were conducted this week because of the row.
It is understood the paternal family held their own prayers and vigils in Manurewa while Liufau’s body was on view at his residence in Kelston before it was buried.
When contacted, a family member told Kaniva News they did not want to report the feud out of respect for their elderly and mātu’a.
Kaniva News would like to remind social media users that they are subject to the same rules governing libel and slander as everybody else.
Liufau’s body was buried today, May 28, at the Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland.
Speeches delivered during his memorial services last night showed how hard it was for his family to see one of their members who had been described as a rising star in his field dying in a very brutal and violent way.
He was described as “always quick to offer a hand of help to another.”
Some recalled the tough moment at hospital when they asked doctors to continue to keep Liufau on life support to give them more chance to pray to God for a miracle and that he would live, but it did not happen.
The church minister at the service acknowledged the grief of losing someone so young and someone who had much to live for.
But he told mourners to remember where their loved one is now – free from pain.
“Liufau is truly, truly free now.”
Hundreds of mourners said their final goodbye to the fallen promising mixed martial arts fighter today.
His black casket was decked with the Coat of Arms of Tonga and the symbol of his gym, City Kickboxing.
Champion Israel Adesanya and Tongan boxer Junior Fa were two of New Zealand’s top fighters who attended Fau’s funeral services.
The 25-year-old died at the weekend, a week after allegedly being assaulted in central Auckland in the early hours of Sunday, May 16.
Additional charges yet to be made
Vake’s funeral comes as Police said they were due to lay more charges in relation to the incident in due course.
Four men have been charged and appeared in the Auckland District Court on the Monday after the incident on Symonds St.
One was charged with common assault, another with two counts of assaulting with intent to injure, another charged with wounding with intent and injuring with intent, and another is also charged with common assault.
Three of the men are aged 29. The fourth is a 32-year-old.
It is understood any additional charges will be filed before the next court date on June 8.