Zuma's Nkandla party ends in tragedy

2013-12-30 09:16
President Jacob Zuma hands out gifts at his annual Christmas party for the elderly at Nkandla. (GCIS, The Witness)

President Jacob Zuma hands out gifts at his annual Christmas party for the elderly at Nkandla. (GCIS, The Witness)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


  • Zuma Exposed
    This book exposes Jacob Zuma, in such a way that he would not want you or anyone else to read it. Now R189.00
    buy now

Gabisile Ngcobo, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - President Jacob Zuma’s annual Christmas party for the elderly at Nkandla on Friday ended tragically when a woman died after uninvited guests caused a stampede while clamouring for gifts.

Thembekile Ntombizamani Shangase, 61, was apparently lining up to receive her gift pack when people started pushing and they fell on top of her.

She died at a local clinic at around 18:00.

The president hosts a Christmas party in his hometown at Nkandla every year, distributing food parcels, toiletries, blankets and sweets to the elderly.

The party was held at a hall near his homestead.

It is believed that the crowd got a bit rowdy as everyone was trying to get their Christmas goodies.

Uninvited guests

Social development spokesperson Lumka Oliphant has sent her condolences to Shangase's family members, who she said were very distraught when officials visited them to pay their respects.

“Even though the party is for the elderly, there are those uninvited guests who come and we can’t chase them away. They pushed and fell on top of gogo,” Oliphant added.

“It was such an unfortunate incident after a day that was wonderful,” she said.

Local councillor Sbongiseni Bhengu had already left when the incident took place, but Bhengu maintains that the chaos was triggered by youngsters who were not meant to be at the party.

In 2011, over 2 000 food parcels were given to pensioners in a similar function organised by the president.


The presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj in a brief statement on Sunday said Zuma extended his deepest condolences to Shangase’s family.

The statement however made no mention of the nature of the incident.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family on the passing of their loved one during what was meant to be a joyous occasion for our senior citizens. The minister [of Social Development] has assured me that the matter is being looked into,” the message from the president read.

On Sunday, Zuma attended another party - this time for the children.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said an inquest docket was opened and police are still investigating.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pietermaritzburg

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:38 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
  • Saturday Constantia - 07:19 AM
    Road name: Rhodes Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED between Constantia Nek and Canterbury Road until 1300
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.