Cop shoots wife with rifle, then kills himself

2008-10-19 00:00

A Pietermaritzburg woman lost her fight for life in hospital yesterday afternoon after she was shot seven times with an R5 rifle by her husband, a police officer, who then turned the rifle on himself.

Bhekani Ngubeni (43) committed suicide shortly after he shot his wife, Minah Thabisile Ngubeni (35), several times at their home at 93 White Road in the Grange.

Minah was rushed to St Anne’s Hospital where she died about two hours later.

The shooting happened at about 10.45 am yesterday. Wounded, Minah walked a few metres from the house before collapsing at the gate, as her husband shot at her.

Passers-by and neighbours witnessed the shocking scene and saw her collapse in the driveway naked and wounded. “She was bleeding, trembling with pain and most shocking she had no clothes on herself,” said a witness.

A neighbour rushed to cover her while others called the police and ambulance. When The Witness arrived on the scene the area was cordoned off with police tape and residents were standing along the road.

Police were busy collecting evidence on the scene, while paramedics from ER 24 and Netcare 911 tried to stabilise Minah.

Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said she was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and was immediately taken to surgery.

Neighbours prayed for her as they watched the ambulance race off. “May God save her life … I hope she recovers.” Unfortunately, she was declared dead at about 1.30 pm.

Earlier, neighbours did not realise that a muffled sound they heard was Minah’s cry for help.

“We heard two gunshots and a muffled scream, but we thought it was one of those guys who usually shoot in the air. Moments later, there were gunshots again, three times, and the next thing someone said a woman was lying in the driveway,” said one of the neighbours.

“It’s shocking; I wouldn’t think that something like this would happen with this couple. They are respectable people, both employed, have a beautiful car and they seem to be well off. It’s sad.”

Neighbours said the Ngubeni family moved into the area less than two years ago.

It is believed that the couple had a domestic dispute that led to the shooting. It is not known what exactly sparked the argument.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said a rifle was used in the shooting. “Ngubeni shot his wife several times before he shot himself in the head, he died on the scene,” he said.

Budhram said Ngubeni was a member of the SAPS public order policing unit.

Neighbours were still reeling from shock yesterday following the news of Minah’s death. They said they are concerned about the couple’s four children.

It is believed that Ngubeni had two children before he married Minah, and two with her. The children were away when the shooting happened.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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