‘I love you, don’t shoot’

2009-09-10 00:00

“PHUMLANI! I love you, please don’t shoot me.”

These were the last words uttered by Neli Mkhize before she was shot dead by her fiancé, Phumlani Ndlovu, during a lovers’ quarrel at their rented room in Pietermaritz Street late on Tuesday night.

Ndlovu then committed suicide by shooting himself.

Mkhize (43) worked as a teacher at the KwaMsinga Primary School in Entembeni.

She was apparently shot twice by Ndlovu (39), who worked in a government department. He then turned the gun on himself and shot himself twice in the head.

Their neighbours in the Enhlakahle rental residence, who did not want to be named, described the couple as quarrelsome, but never thought the situation between them would deteriorate so tragically.

They said that on Tuesday night, the couple quarrelled again and one of their neighbours, who had successfully mediated for them before, was called in. However, she was unable to calm Ndlovu, who had his gun drawn.

He told her to get out of the room and locked the door. “I heard her pleading for her life, saying she loved him and asking him not to shoot her,’’ she said.

She said Ndlovu shot Mkhize twice and then turned the gun on himself.

“He shot himself in the head but he was not dead so he threw the keys out the window for me to open the door and then shot himself again,” said the traumatised woman.

She said the couple often quarrelled, but yesterday Mkhize could sense that she could die. “Although they quarrelled, yesterday you could see it in her face that she knew that today [Tuesday] was the day she was going to die”

The family said they are saddened by the incident. Mkhize’s brother, who did not want to be named, said they were shocked to hear of the murder-suicide as they “knew that the couple loved each other deeply”.

“They were in a process of getting married. Last year we began the marriage process with the fiancé,” he said.

“We had spoken to them early in the evening; there was something going on between them, but they did not let on.” He said the couple had not been drinking.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said the police were called after reports of gunshots in the area. When they arrived the couple were already dead.

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