Dad tells of soldier’s fear of ex-boyfriend
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.
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.