Cop’s lover ‘refused baby’

2014-03-08 00:00

POLICEWOMAN Tembelihle Ngco­bo’s pregnancy and the alleged refusal by her lover to accept her and the baby into his family are reportedly what led to Monday night’s shooting of Constable Bongani Lembethe in Pietermaritzburg.

This is according to what Ngcobo (31) of Imbali reportedly told her attorney, Phumlani Fakude, who appeared on her behalf when she was granted bail of R2 000 in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

“She did not set out to kill anyone,” Fakude told Weekend Witness after the bail hearing.

He said according to Ngcobo, who is six months pregnant, she followed custom when she fell pregnant last year by introducing herself to Lembethe’s family. But Lembethe apparently did not want her in his life and constantly ignored her requests and avoided her phone calls, causing strife.

“That evening, she saw his car and she followed him to discuss the matter,” said Fakude.

He said according to Ngcobo, Lembethe had shouted at her that he did not want her in his life and uttered a threat. When he allegedly reached into the cubby hole of his car, Ngcobo was afraid that he was fetching out his firearm, said Fakude.

Lembethe was gunned down at Signal Hill on Monday evening as he returned home from work. The alarm was reportedly raised by Sindi Khan­yile, who was described by Lembethe’s sister as her brother’s fiancée.

Ngcobo herself did not give any details of her defence in the brief affidavit filed in support of her bail application in court yesterday.

The state had earlier withdrawn its objection to her being granted bail, which the prosecutor said was based on fears for the safety of Lembethe’s other girlfriend. However, magistrate Ashin Singh said conditions attached to the bail would protect the woman.

He said the fact that Ngcobo had handed herself over to police after the shooting, as well as her pregnancy, were factors to be taken into account.

He granted Ngcobo bail on condition that she resides outside Pietermaritzburg at an alternative address provided by her and ordered her not to return to the capital for any reason other than to attend court. He also ordered her not to carry a firearm or interfere with any state witnesses or any person connected with the case.

When Ngcobo appeared in court yesterday, she remained photo shy and covered her head with a blanket to avoid being photographed.

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