‘Please look after my kids’

2012-11-23 00:00

IT was a brief SMS from her brother, but by the time Thabisile Mlabe saw it, her older sibling and his estranged wife were both dead.

The text message from Sthembiso Dlamini (41), a police officer from Townhill police station, simply read: “Please look after my children”.

Dlamini had sent it on the night he shot dead his estranged wife, Philisile, before fleeing and later turning the gun on himself.

Mlabe only read the SMS yesterday morning.

Dlamini’s brother Thembinkosi toldThe Witness that the family did not know what could have triggered his brother’s actions.

The couple had been married for about eight years and were separated for about eight months.

“As far as we’re concerned they were trying to sort out their differences,” said Thembinkosi.

He described Dlamini as the quiet one in the family, who bottled things up, but was hardly ever violent.

“He took things easy. We’re very hurt because at least he could have sat down with us to talk.”

Philisile’s uncle Paulos Ngcobo last saw his niece a few months ago when they were burying her mother.

Philisile moved to her late mother’s house after Dlamini had hit her.

Ngcobo said he was shocked by the killings, as they had sat down with Dlamini to talk about his family issues.

“We’re very disappointed that Philisile’s husband took this decision. But God will help us.”

Philisile’s brother had witnessed the shooting, Ngcobo said.

He described his niece as a people’s person, a hard worker and someone who took care of her family.

The couple have two young girls, a seven-year-old and a 10-year-old, while Dlamini has a 17-year-old child from a previous relationship.

“We haven’t broke the news to the children, but you can see that they’re sensing that there’s something wrong.”

Both families needed to support and strengthen each other, Ngcobo said.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said they received a report of murder at kwaPata around 11.30 pm on Wednesday.

She said the woman’s body was lying in the street with a gunshot wound to the head.

“Investigations have established that [Philisile] and her estranged husband were involved in an argument. It is further alleged that her husband drew his firearm and fired one shot at her fatally wounding her. He then fled the scene,” said Jeevan.

Dlamini’s body with a gunshot wound to the head was discovered yesterday morning in a Red Nissan Sentra in an open field at the kwa­Mnyandu area, outside Pietermaritzburg,

“It is believed that one 9 mm pistol had been found in his hand which is believed to have been used during an alleged suicide.”

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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