Mother, baby found hanged

2011-02-10 00:00

GRANDPARENTS were left devastated after they discovered their two-year-old grandson hanging from a rope while his mother was lying dead on the floor of their house in Matimatolo outside Greytown at about 11 am on Tuesday.

It is suspected that Thobekile Mkhize (18) first hanged her son, Elihle Ntuli, from the roof of their bedroom before she hanged herself on Monday night. They lived in the rural village of Okhahlambeni.

The disaster has left the little boy’s grandparents, Joe (53) and Madibhi Ntuli (49), with many unanswered questions.

Joe Ntuli said of Mkhize, “She was unusually active in the homestead on Sunday and Monday.

“She was doing cleaning, collecting firewood and fetching water, which is something she does not normally do ever since she started living with us in 2008.”

He was outside the homestead when he heard his wife screaming, “My children are dead!”

“I ran back home and when I entered the room I saw my grandson’s body hanging from a rope.

“His mother’s body was on the floor with a piece of broken rope around her neck. I just cried like a woman,” he said.

At Mkhize’s nearby homestead Ntuli learnt that she had planned her death.

“When I went to report the tragedy to her parents they showed me a piece of paper with details of the funeral service, which she made. She had listed a group of friends she wished should speak during the funeral. She had also mentioned the name of the choir she wanted to sing at the funeral,” said Ntuli.

Madibhi Ntuli said that when realised at around 11am that Mkhize and the boy had not woken up, she went to check on them.

“I pushed the door open only to be greeted by my grandson’s body hanging from the roof. I was left speechless, and I could only scream for help,” she said.

The family said they are struggling to console the boy’s father, Lungisani Ntuli (23). They said he has been crying non-stop and refusing to eat since he arrived from Durban, where he works, on Tuesday afternoon.

“He does not speak to anyone. We are afraid and we think he needs counselling before he also does something to himself,” said Lungisani’s elder sister, Thule.

Thule said in 2009 she found a suicide note with Mkhize’s handwriting in which she had listed her funeral plans.

“When I confronted her about it she said she was just joking. She was always talking about going to Durban to start a new life,” said Thule.

The Ntulis believe that the Mkhize family is cursed with suicides. They said that in 2007 and 2009 two of Mkhize’s brothers hanged themselves.

Lungisani’s elder brother, Bongumusa, believes Mkhize killed herself because she failed grade 12 last year.

The mother and child will be buried on Saturday, although the funeral details have not been finalised.

Police spokesperson Warrant Office Joey Jeevan said police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

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