Women's Day tragedy

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - FRONT PAGE - Muzi Zin­c­ume

WHY did he do this ter­ri­ble deed? What made a fa­ther kill his two chil­dren by hang­ing them?

Fam­ily mem­bers, friends and the com­mu­nity of Mpem­beni Re­serve and the City of uMh­lathuze are grasp­ing for an­swers to this heart­break­ing saga that took place on Women’s Day.

Ward 13 Coun­cil­lor, Jabu Hadebe, said the com­mu­nity was shocked to learn that the chil­dren’s fa­ther, Nkosi­nathi Ndlela

(38), had handed him­self over to the po­lice, ad­mit­ting he had killed his son Sam­bulo (8) and daugh­ter Una­mandla (4). ‘We don’t have clar­ity on what led to this tragedy. I only heard from neigh­bours that the sus­pect and his wife, Ntombi, had had a heated ar­gu­ment be­fore the in­ci­dent.

‘It is also un­clear where the mother was when the hang­ing took place. ‘When I vis­ited the fam­ily, Ntombi was too trau­ma­tised to speak about the tragedy. I hap­pen to know Sam­bulo, who was do­ing Grade 1 at Mpem­beni Pri­mary School, at a personal level.

Ndlela’s wife works at Icora FM as a ra­dio pre­sen­ter, while her hus­band has been un­em­ployed since re­sign­ing as an in­ter­preter at the Em­pan­geni Mag­is­trate’s Court.

Icora FM’s Sec­re­tary of the Board of Di­rec­tors, Lun­gani Buthelezi, said the sta­tion was deeply sad­dened by the un­timely death of the two chil­dren. ‘We feel the pain of Mama Ndlela, who is un­der­go­ing a dif­fi­cult pe­riod while the coun­try is celebratin­g Women’s Month. Los­ing chil­dren is the worst ex­pe­ri­ence for a mother,’ he said.

KZN MEC for So­cial De­vel­op­ment, Nonhlanhla Khoza, said she was shaken by the tragedy.

‘It is al­leged that the ac­cused op­posed his wife’s plan to go with the chil­dren to see her par­ents in Nse­leni at the week­end.

‘Ac­cord­ing to the re­port we re­ceived, the cou­ple had a do­mes­tic dis­pute, as the wife had to par­tic­i­pate in a Women’s Day event where she was to be the co-pro­gramme di­rec­tor.

‘Her hus­band was ap­par­ently op­posed to her par­tic­i­pa­tion.

‘The depart­ment has ar­ranged so­cial work­ers to pro­vide sup­port to the mother of the chil­dren, learn­ers of the crèche and school which the vic­tims at­tended.

‘We call upon lead­ers of so­ci­ety to unite and show pub­lic dis­ap­proval of the abuse of women and chil­dren,’ she said.

Khoza fur­ther called on law en­force­ment agen­cies to have no mercy and to pun­ish any­one found to be in­volved in the abuse of vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of so­ci­ety.

‘We ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that the per­pe­tra­tor of this grue­some act is in jail,’ she said.

King Cetshwayo Clus­ter Po­lice spokesper­son, Cap­tain Mbon­geni Md­lalose, said Ndlela led the po­lice to his house and pointed out where he had hanged the chil­dren.

‘The boy was found hang­ing in his bed­room and the lit­tle girl was found in the toi­let.

Nkosi­nathi made a brief ap­pear­ance in eSikhaleni Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day and is ex­pected to ap­pear again for a for­mal bail ap­pli­ca­tion this com­ing Mon­day,’ said Md­lalose.

> The memo­rial ser­vice for the chil­dren will take place at 10am to­day (Thurs­day) at Mpem­beni Pri­mary School.

Fa­ther takes the lives of two young chil­dren



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