Woman’s killing a mystery

2010-10-11 00:00

“WHEN is my Mommy going to wake up?”

These were the words uttered by a confused and traumatised six-year-old Pietermaritzburg boy who watched helplessly as his mother was brutally murdered outside the Anglican cathedral in Pietermaritzburg’s CBD on Friday afternoon.

Nomcebo (MaMbili) Mvelase, an environmental health campaigner, was stabbed to death by an unknown man outside the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity, leaving her husband and young son to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives following the horrific incident.

Nomcebo (29) was remembered yesterday as a loving, caring and jovial mother, wife and passionate environmental health professional.

Her six-year-old son, Amahle, will undergo extensive trauma counselling.

Her husband, Mandla Mvelase, told The Witness yesterday: “It’s a very difficult situation. It’s very hard to understand. It felt like a horror movie, but it was real.

“I was heading towards our car when I saw the scene. My colleagues looked at me. Then her sister’s husband approached me.

“I am left with so many unanswered questions.”

He said he is confused, angry and frustrated because robbery has thus far been ruled out as the motive. No valuables were taken during the incident. Nomcebo was carrying R2 000 cash, jewellery and two cellphones.

An eyewitness who wished to remain anonymous told The Witness that he tried to help Nomcebo.

Mandla, who works at the Education Department offices near the church, said the family used the church as a pick-up spot after work.

He said he left his workplace after 4 pm on Friday and headed for the bank.

“I was delayed at the bank … and my cellphone battery was low. I phoned her and told her this and she said that she would do some shopping in the meanwhile.”

He encountered the scene on his way back to his wife.

He and Nomcebo had been married for three years.

Amahle is in grade R.

Formerly a nurse, Nomcebo worked as an environmental health campaigner at environmental justice organisation groundWork.

She recently obtained a post-graduate diploma in HIV and Aids clinical management.

GroundWork’s director, Bobby Peek, told The Witness that Nomcebo represented Pietermaritzburg in Geneva in Switzerland, and Brussels, the Belgian capital.

Peek said she was preparing for a trip to Kazakhstan in central Asia to work on the international elimination of persistent organic pollutants.

Nomcebo was instrumental in getting the government healthcare sector to take seriously the issue of medical waste, particularly mercury elimination.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Lieutenant-Colonel Sunil Maharaj at 033 845 2732 or 084 567 0119.

In the shadow of the Cathedral’s

Steel fence

You lay, Sis’ Cebo.

You lay slowly dying

Behind the bars

of our useless efforts.

You fallen, the felon fled.

A crimson pool of blood like

A halo about your head.

The first curious flies

Mingled with your child’s cries

Then they said you were dead.

Sent in by a witness to Nomcebo Mvelase’s murder

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