News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 16th 2019

Acting principal ‘trusted’ her killer, court hears

Gugulethu acting principal Nomziwoxolo Dziba had had a “great respect and love” for the man convicted of arranging her murder, Vuyisile Ndzumeka, the Cape High Court heard yesterday.

During the mitigation and aggravation of sentencing hearings against convicts Vuyisile Ndzumeka, his wife Yalezwa Ndzumeka and hitman Luvo Nketho, Nonkonzo Dziba told the court that Nomziwoxolo, who was gunned down outside her school office on August 24, 2009, was a caring mother and wife who had helped uplift the Gugulethu community by assisting children to attend school through counseling and providing school fees.

Yet Vuyisile ordered Nketho to kill her when she began uncovering financial irregularities at Sthembele Matiso High where she was acting principal and he was employed as a financial officer.

Nonkonzo, who was Nomziwoxolo’s sister-in-law, said Nomziwoxolo knew that there were tensions at the school related to the jockeying for the vacant position of principal, but trusted Vuyisile, who was from the same Xhosa clan as her.

Nonkonzo said it was a “surprise” to her and the rest of the family when Vuyisile and Yalezwa were arrested for Nomziwoxolo’s murder as he had even conducted the choir during her memorial service.

Nonkonzo said her family was still struggling to come to terms with her death and Nomziwoxolo’s husband had been particularly hard hit, to the extent that he could not bring himself to attend court and see her murderers.

Without her, “we find the house very empty”, she said.

Nonkonzo’s testimony comes after Judge Andries Smit in January this year found the Ndzumekas and Luvo Nketho guilty of murdering Nomziwoxolo in August 2009, three months after they had murdered 23-year-old Bongani Dingana.

Before killing Nomziwoxolo, Nketho was hired to kill Dingana, but failed in a first attempt on April 16, 2009. Two months later, he succeeded in shooting Dingana dead while he was walking home on crutches.
Smit also convicted the Ndzumekas of fraud as they had taken out life insurance policies in Dingana’s name which paid them R180 000.
Asked by state prosecutor Denyse Greyling about how she would like the court to punish the convicts, Nonkonzo said “I feel people who are able to plan murder and be successful don’t belong in the community”.

Speaking in front of a public gallery packed with friends and family of both the victims and the accused, as well as a contingent of ANC Women’s League members, she said the court should send the murderers to jail for “a long time” to prevent them from engaging in further crimes.

The case was postponed until Friday to allow a social worker and correctional service officer to interview the convicts. – Sandiso Phaliso

Tags: ANC Women’s League members, Bongani Dingana, Denyse Greyling, Judge Andries Smit, Luvo Nketho, Nomziwoxolo Dziba, Nonkonzo Dziba, Sthembele Matiso High, Vuyisile Ndzumeka, Yalezwa Ndzumeka

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