//My life has changed forever – killer soldier’s ex-girlfriend

My life has changed forever – killer soldier’s ex-girlfriend

Former girlfriend of the soldier sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder and attempted murder of her sisters says her life has changed forever.

Nontokozo Mbambo, 22, still cannot believe that one can be so unlucky, to have her sisters shot in the security of their home by a man she loved and bore a child for.

“We were in love. When he came into my life, I was pregnant for another man’s and he loved me in that state. I don’t know what changed him. He became a menace,” she said.

The couple later had a child together.

Mbambo was speaking after Thembinkosi American Ngcobo was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

Ngcobo drove from the SANDF Upington base to Durban on January 30, 2017, on a murder-suicide mission – to kill Mbambo.

When he arrived in Durban, he learnt that Mbambo and their baby were seen leaving the home with another man. When he failed to find Mbambo, who was already in hiding, he shot her sisters.

Ngcobo was convicted earlier this month of the shooting at the Mbambo homestead on July 31, killing Mbambo’s sister, Nokwanda, and wounding Nonzuzo Mbambo.

However, Nonzuzo and her mother, Nomusa Mbambo, were murdered at their home in Inanda a few weeks before they could testify against Ngcobo, who was then in custody. Investigations into their murders are still under way.

Mbambo said people still referred to her as “that soldier’s girlfriend” four years after the incident.

“The stigma follows me around. People still talk about me behind my back. Even men lose interest as soon as they find out who I am. I stay indoors to avoid people rubbing salt in my wounds,” she said.

She said it broke her even more to hear Ngcobo’s version, that he had heard that their child was not his.

“This whole drama and the fact that he will be in prison for a very long time means that my son will grow up without a father. He calls my brothers and cousins ‘baba’ (father). He doesn’t know his father, so I guess it comes naturally that he calls them that,” she said.

Mbambo said she still blamed herself for the deaths of her mother and sisters, but the wonderful support of other relatives had given her the strength to carry on.

In court on Friday, Mbambo disputed Ngcobo’s claims that he had supported her with between R3 000 and R5000 a month.

She said Ngcobo had lied and claimed that he only gave her R100 when she needed to attend an antenatal clinic during her pregnancy.

“My family members would still be alive if I had not been in a relationship with him. My mother, who was the breadwinner of the family, would still be alive. My mother and my sisters were always there for me. They helped me train my kids. I am unemployed and only means to survive is on the child social grant. I need to find a job so I can raise my kids, but I even fear to go out looking for a job.

“My life is presently at a standstill. My children are the only reason I wake up in the morning,” she said.

Mbambo said she owed her sanity along her journey to justice to the investigating officer, Colonel Thokozani Mabanga, and the prosecutor, advocate Krishen Shah, who gave her the support she needed to remain strong.

“There were times when I thought he would run away, that he would come for me. Not only did they conduct an excellent investigation, but they gave me strength when I wanted to give up.”