Wives’ fight over dead cop’s body resolved

2008-10-10 00:00

Bigamy committed by a Pietermaritzburg policeman, Thulani Lawrence Ngcobo, who took a second “wife” 13 years ago and allegedly kept his first marriage a secret from her, led to a bitter dispute this week over which of the two women was entitled to take charge of his funeral and last rites ceremony.

The dispute was resolved by agreement in the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday after Judge Piet Koen urged the parties to reach a compromise that would not involve a “victor” or “loser”.

Accordingly, Ngcobo’s second “wife”, Rita Ndlovu, was authorised to have his body released to her by the funeral parlour and transported to her home in Howick overnight.

The body is to be collected at 10 am today and taken to his parental home in Ashdown in compliance with the wishes of his first wife, Zandile Ngcobo, whom he married in July 1989.

Zandile Ngcobo will conduct his funeral service and carry out his last rites ceremony and burial.

Before granting the order, Koen hailed the parties on their “maturity” in agreeing on a compromise.

He told the courtroom, packed with members of the late policeman’s families and their friends, that they should spend the next couple of days saying their farewells, remembering the good times they had with Ngcobo and honouring his memory.

“I ask you to approach it in that spirit and to respect each other’s feelings of grief.

“There will always be certain factors that will inextricably link you. He was a husband, a father, in both households. Some of you might feel a bit let down in some respects … Even though you might feel some disappointment, the most important consideration is that you have lost a loved one,” the judge said.

He referred in particular in that regard to Rita Ndlovu (whom Ngcobo “married” in 1995) and who alleged in her affidavit that she was unaware that he was still married throughout their relationship.

In her affidavit, Zandile Ngcobo (a teacher from Imbali) said that in 1994, she and her late husband experienced marital problems and he issued summons for divorce. However, he withdrew the divorce application. In 1997, she found out that he had married Ndlovu in May 1995. “I could not believe this, as I was still married to the deceased,” she said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.