Hitmen kill brother No. 3

2019-01-03 16:22
Jabulani Mngoma and his mother Thoko Mngoma a few days before he was murdered.

Jabulani Mngoma and his mother Thoko Mngoma a few days before he was murdered.

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While the rest of the world celebrated the arrival of the New Year, the Mngoma family was frantically trying to stop blood gushing from a gunshot wound on Jabulani Mngoma — who later died in hospital.

Jabulani (34), from Smero in Edendale, was the bodyguard of Msunduzi Speaker Jabu Ngubo.

He was shot by an unknown assailant minutes after the clock struck midnight on Tuesday.

Jabulani is the third brother in the family to be murdered. One of his brothers was also shot dead while working as a bodyguard for Ngubo and another was gunned down after he resigned as the chief financial officer at Mooi Mpofana Municipality.

“What wrong have we done and to whom to have our mother bury our brothers every single year?” said his sister Pinky Mngoma yesterday.

The eldest of the siblings, Simo Mncwabe, was killed in 2016 in a suspected politically motivated hit near Henley Dam as he took his children to school, a day after he resigned from Mooi Mpofana Municipality. His murder remains unsolved.

In November 2017, Pinky’s second brother, Mhlabunzima Bruce Mngoma (30), was gunned down in a hail of 20 bullets in Caluza. He was a bodyguard for the City’s speaker at the time of his death and had survived another assassination attempt about eight months before.

On Tuesday their distraught mother Thoko Mngoma (60) said she did not know why her children were being murdered.

“You see me sitting here but they [the assailants] have killed me … There’s so much pain in my heart,” said Mngoma.

Pinky said their last moments with Jabulani kept playing in her head, adding that everyone was happy and never suspected that he could be attacked.

“We had a braai and we were listening to the radio because the song of the year was playing.

“The countdown had just finished and everyone was busy with fire crackers when he suddenly turned around and said someone had shot him, then slumped on the ground,” she said.

The second bullet missed her by centimetres when she rushed to his side.

“His gun was not very far away but he didn’t have any strength to fire back. My mother tried to reach for it but I told her not to shoot because she’s also never fired a gun in her life and I was scared she might hurt herself,” said Pinky.

The family then struggled to get someone to drive Jabulani to hospital because the phone lines were busy. They eventually managed to get hold of one of his colleagues after 2 am.

Pinky said her brother was in a lot of pain but they thought he would survive as he was talking and able to walk when he left the house.

The doctors told them the bullet had caused severe damage to his organs and that he had lost a lot of blood.

“They tried to give him some blood but it didn’t work and they said in the end he was bleeding everywhere, even from the ears, because the main vein was also damaged,” said Pinky.

She added that Jabulani had previously told the family that there were people following him. His mother had asked him about why there’d be people wanting to kill him but he told her he did not know.

Jabulani was the breadwinner and the responsibility of supporting his family fell on his shoulders when his brothers died.

“He was my son and my best friend. He loved me unconditionally and tried to make me feel special in anyway possible,” said Thoko Mngoma.

“I could talk to him about anything but sometimes he kept stuff from me and he would say that he didn’t want to hurt me. Whenever he told me sad news he would try and cushion the blow so that I didn’t feel a lot of pain.”

Pinky said the recent tragedies brought the family closer and made Jabulani very protective of the people he loved.

“Moments before he was shot he had just said how thankful he was that we didn’t lose another family member in 2018, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”

Jabulani is survived by his mother, two siblings and a 10-year-old son.

A case of murder has been opened at the Plessislaer police station but no arrests had been made at the time of publication.

Mayor sends condolences to Mngoma family

Mayor Themba Njilo described Jabulani as a dedicated professional who treated everyone with respect.

He said Jabulani was like a son to him as the Njilo and Mngoma families had been close for many years.

“We would like to extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. We know that we are serving a God who doesn’t make mistakes but when such a young person — with so much potential — dies we can’t help ourselves but ask questions,” he added.

Njilo said he knew Jabulani to be a well-mannered young man who loved his family very much.

Distraught Speaker Jabu Ngubo requested to be contacted today for her comment. 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  political killings
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