‘Hospital babies lose a mother’

2017-01-27 08:12
Grey’s Hospital nurses sing at the memorial of slain Sister Ntokozo Xulu on Thursday at the hospital.

Grey’s Hospital nurses sing at the memorial of slain Sister Ntokozo Xulu on Thursday at the hospital. (Ian Carbutt)

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Teary-eyed Grey’s Hospital nurses bid farewell to slain nurse Sister Ntokozo Xulu in a touching memorial service on Thursday.

Xulu (48) was shot in the head, execution style at her home in the Grange on Tuesday.

The Witness reported on Wednesday that, according to a source, Xulu was sitting in her lounge and had been talking to someone before the shots were fired.

A relative who was in the house said he heard two shots fired.

Neighbours told The Witness they had seen a man “casually” leaving the home before getting into a black Polo and driving off. The vehicle did not have number plates.

Yesterday, the hospital where Xulu had worked since 1995, held a memorial service in one of the halls where friends, colleagues and Xulu’s family came to say their goodbyes.

With the hall packed, colleagues and friends sang and danced in memory of Xulu, clasping crumpled tissues to dry their eyes.

Xulu’s colleague, Sister Jenna Camp, said yesterday that Xulu was hard working and always put her patients first.

She said Xulu, who was a cancer survivor, was always warm, caring and bubbly and that the paediatric ward where she worked would not be the same without her.

Another colleague, Sister Pamela Nkomonde, said Xulu was a mother, a friend and a teacher to her and the other nurses who worked with her.

Present at the memorial was Kwa­Zulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who said he was shocked and dismayed at the killings of female nurses.

Last year, another Grey’s Hospital nurse, Sindisiwe Shelembe, was shot and killed on the Townhill part of the N3, while she was driving to the hospital for the night shift.

In another incident in Pietermaritzburg in April, advanced midwife at Edendale Hospital Thabisile Doyisa (46) was allegedly shot and killed by her policeman husband with an R5 rifle.

ER24 paramedics at the time of the incident said Doyisa was still in her uniform and had already died due to her extensive injuries before their arrival.

Her husband, a member of the Public Order Police Unit in Pietermaritzburg, fled the scene before police could arrive, but hours later returned to his house where he handed himself over to officers.

“Sister Xulu becomes the third nurse to be brutally killed in the space of three years in this district,” said Dhlomo.

He said Xulu’s colleagues had spoken highly of the nurse, saying she was passionate about caring for people.

“She demonstrated that her passion was with paediatrics by following her midwifery studies with a post-basic qualification in Child Nursing Science.

“We have truly lost a mother to all sick babies at Grey’s Hospital …”

Xulu will be laid to rest tomorrow at the Sweetwaters Cemetery in Pietermaritzburg at 9 am.

She leaves behind two children, girls aged 17 and 13, as well as her younger brother.

The brother of slain Grey’s Hospital nurse, Sindisiwe Shelembe who was shot and killed on her way to work in April last year, said there has been no new information about his sister’s killers.

Graham Shelembe said when he heard of Xulu’s death, the memories of his sister came “flooding back”.

He said the incidents had been similar and had immediately brought back memories of his sister’s death.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said no arrests had been made yet in Shelembe’s case.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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