His mother’s hero

2013-07-25 00:00

MARITZBURG college pupil Njabulo Ngcobo died a hero protecting his family, his distraught mother said yesterday.

Surrounded by relatives and neighbours at the family home in Imbali yesterday, Gugu Ngcobo described how her 15-year-old son was killed while confronting an intruder in the early hours of Tuesday.

Njabulo, a Grade 10 pupil at Maritzburg College, was shot twice and died in the living room, near the couch where he and his mom used to bond.

“He was my boy,” she said, gazing at Njabulo’s photograph on top of the TV cabinet.

And when Ngcobo caught a whiff of The Witness photographer’s aftershave, she burst into tears and said: “You smell like my son. What perfume do you use?”

Ngcobo, Njabulo and his 17-year-old sister Nontobeko, an Epworth School pupil, were asleep when the burglar alarm went off at around 1.30 am on Tuesday.

Ngcobo’s husband Mlungisi, who is a paramedic, was working the night shift and had gone home an hour earlier to check on his family — as he usually did.

Now he blames himself for not being there, Ngcobo said.

She described how she went to investigate what had triggered the alarm, and was confronted by an unknown man who had gained access to the home through a sliding door.

Ngcobo said she had screamed for Njabulo, who ran out of his bedroom to help her. The armed intruder fired a shot directly at him.

Njabulo managed to stand, push the intruder out of the door and tried to chase him, said Ngcobo.

But the intruder shot him a second time and fled.

Terrified by the sound of gunshots, Nontobeko locked herself in her room.

Njabulo died in his mother’s arms on the floor.

Ngcobo said she had gathered strength from God.

“I know that God was here that night. God loves me. He took what was His and I don’t blame Him a bit for what happened. It’s just that He didn’t tell me when He was going to take him.

“Njabulo died a hero trying to protect his sister and me.”

Ngcobo said she had no regrets.

“He doesn’t owe me anything. I gave it all and I don’t have ifs. I did everything I could for him and I loved him.”

Ngcobo described how she and Njabulo used to sit on the couch, her son’s head on her shoulder.

Njabulo was caring, loving, disciplined and had big dreams, she said.

But Njabulo’s dreams of going overseas to play his favourite sport, basketball, and to become a civil engineer, were snatched away from him.

“There are movies that have unexpected endings. It’s the same with my son’s life. But this was the end of his chapter,” Ngcobo said.

Njabulo will be buried in Nxamalala on Saturday. The funeral service will be held at the Nxamalala Hall at 9.30 am and he will be buried in the local cemetery.

Police have made an urgent appeal to anyone with information to contact Detective Captain Keith Wessels at 033 398 9771 or 083 510 3053.

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