Dad tells of sol­dier’s fear of ex-boyfriend

The Mercury - - FRONT PAGE - Thami Magubane

THE fe­male sol­dier killed in the DRC this past week­end al­legedly by her ex-boyfriend, had lived in fear, be­liev­ing he might shoot her be­cause he in­tim­i­dated her with his gun every time they had an ar­gu­ment, her fa­ther said yes­ter­day.

Pri­vate No­math­emba Ngeleka of the SANDF 5 South African in­fantry Bat­tal­ion in Lady­smith died on ar­rival in hospi­tal in the DRC on Fri­day.

She had been de­ployed to the Cen­tral African coun­try, as part of a peace­keep­ing mis­sion. She is orig­i­nally from the South Coast, and had been with the army since 2011.

No de­tails have been re­leased about her boyfriend who was part of the same unit in Lady­smith, but had been de­ployed to a dif­fer­ent part of the DRC early in June this year.

Crit­i­cal

In a state­ment re­leased by the SANDF, af­ter the boyfriend al­legedly shot Pri­vate Ngeleka, he turned the gun on him­self and is in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion in hospi­tal.

Pri­vate Ngeleka’s fa­ther Nkosi­nathi Ngeleka said the two had re­cently bro­ken up, but the boyfriend was still try­ing to re­pair the re­la­tion­ship.

He said that although they knew the cou­ple were hav­ing prob­lems, they were shocked by the turn of events.

“I know that he is from Pre­to­ria but not sure where. He had vis­ited my home on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, and I have al­ways thought he was a nice boy,” Ngeleka said.

He said they had spo­ken to him sev­eral times in the past few days as he had called to en­list their help to try to fix the re­la­tion­ship.

“Af­ter they had bro­ken up, he called my wife and asked her to talk with our daugh­ter to help them get back to­gether.

“My wife tried, but our daugh­ter said she had had enough be­cause every time they ar­gued, he would pro­duce his gun and she was tired of liv­ing such a fear­ful life,” said Ngeleka.

“He phoned my wife again, telling her that he was go­ing to kill him­self. My wife tried to talk him out of that, say­ing he was like a son to her.

“He also called me and I told him he should give my daugh­ter some space. We were ex­pect­ing her to come home in Novem­ber to talk to her face to face,” he said.

He said they were shocked to re­ceive another phone call from him last week, say­ing he was fly­ing to where Pri­vate Ngeleka was based.

“That fright­ened us as we were fear­ful of what might hap­pen, and we asked him not to go to her and let her work through this alone.”

Ngeleka said their fears were con­firmed on Fri­day when they re­ceived a call from so­cial work­ers ask­ing for di­rec­tions to their home.

“They gave us the news of what had hap­pened; it was very painful.”

In a SANDF state­ment yes­ter­day, the Min­is­ter of De­fence and Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans, No­siviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, ex­pressed the SANDF’s con­do­lences to the fam­ily, friends and loved ones of Pri­vate Ngeleka.

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