Tragedy strikes family twice

2010-10-21 00:00

FOR the second time in five years, a Pietermaritzburg family is mourning the murder of a daughter, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend.

Samke Nxumalo (19) was repeatedly stabbed in full view of witnesses yesterday, just metres from the school where she was in grade 10.

A family member said her throat was slit to the bone.

A 20-year-old man, believed to be Nxumalo’s ex-boyfriend, was arrested minutes later by an off-duty police officer called to the man’s house by neighbours.

Nxumalo’s older sister was killed in a similar fashion in 2005. The sister’s body was found in Alexandra Park, also with a slit throat. She was only a year older than Nxumalo when she died and five months pregnant at the time. The family believes her boyfriend was also behind the murder, although there have been no arrests.

A visibly shaken eyewitness, who spoke to The Witness close to the murder scene, said she was sitting in her yard drinking amahewu when she saw the man, who is from the area, take out his phone and call someone.

The man was carrying a green packet, she said. This was later found to contain Nxumalo’s jacket. It is believed he lured her to meet him so he could hand it over.

A short while later, Nxumalo, accompanied by two other girls, met him. The others soon left and the man and Nxumalo sat talking at the roadside. The witness said they did not appear to be fighting.

She said the man then tried to get Nxumalo to come with him. When she refused, he started stabbing her.

“My son was with me … I heard him screaming ‘He stabbed her. He stabbed her!’ When I looked, he was jabbing at her repeatedly and eventually cut her throat. I was so shocked I couldn’t even scream. All I could do was cry.”

Police said they received a report of a stabbing outside Laduma High School in Mpumuza at about 12.30 pm. They said the girl was standing outside the school yard with other pupils during break when she was confronted by her ex-boyfriend.

It is alleged that the man was forcing Nxumalo to go to his home with him. The pair then had an argument, during which the man produced a knife, stabbing Nxumalo several times in the neck and killing her.

The Witness visited Nxumalo’s family in Caluza where she was described by both family friends and neighbours as a quiet and respectful child who avoided confrontations. She was the mother of a four-year-old child.

Nxumalo’s sister, the last immediate family member to arrive home, was heard screaming “Oh God no” as she made her way to the house. She felt guilty because she had persuaded her sister to go to school when she did not want to go.

Nxumalo’s mother, Manoni, said her daughter was abused by her ex-boyfriend when they dated. She said teachers at the school knew about the abuse and even took the decision to ban the 20-year-old, who is a former pupil, from entering the premises.

She said he used to hit her so badly that police would be called in.

“Since breaking up with him, she was back to being herself. She was filling up again. I can’t believe she’s gone,” said the mother.

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