XOLI Mpungose mourns the gruesome death of her four children, Ayakha Jiyane and Khwezi, Sphesihle and Kuhlekonke Mpungose.     Leon Lestrade  African News Agency (ANA)
XOLI Mpungose mourns the gruesome death of her four children, Ayakha Jiyane and Khwezi, Sphesihle and Kuhlekonke Mpungose. Leon Lestrade African News Agency (ANA)

Durban dad accused of hanging his four children arrested while trying to kill himself

By thobeka ngema Time of article published Sep 5, 2019

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Durban - A father accused of killing four children in Wyebank, Durban, on Tuesday, was arrested while trying to take his own life.

He is suspected of hanging three of his children, and his stepchild.

The bodies of his children - Sphesihle, 10, Khwezi, 6, and Kuhlekonke Mpungose, 4 - and his stepdaughter, Ayakha Jiyane, 16, were found on Tuesday.

Sphesihle, Khwezi and Kuhlekonke’s bodies were found in their home in Wyebank, hanging by the belts of their gowns, while still in their school uniforms. Ayakha’s body was found in a bush in New Germany, hanging by her school tie.

Sdudla Ndlovu, a neighbour who saw the three younger children being discovered in their home, said they were still shocked by the tragedy.

She said according to her knowledge, the children’s father and his wife, teacher Xoli Mpungose, were getting divorced.

He is alleged to have fetched the younger children from their schools and killed them first, before fetching Ayakha from her school and killing her separately.

“Apparently he fetched the youngest in Grade R and then fetched the other two from Lyndhurst Primary School, hanged them all and left the house locked. It’s said he then fetched Ayakha from Pinetown Girls’ High School.

“We heard from another pupil that Ayakha had told them that if anything happened to her, it would be her father who hurt her, which meant she suspected something might happen. As a community we’re still disturbed by what happened,” Ndlovu said.

The man had called Ayakha’s biological father and told him to come and collect his “parcel” from where her body was discovered in New Germany.

It was also believed the man had abused Mpungose before she filed for divorce.

Mpungose’s aunt, Thandekile Mlaba, said her niece never revealed she was being abused by her husband. Mlaba said she found out only after the murders. “Xoli would tell her sisters about the abuse, but she didn’t tell me. I didn’t even know they were getting a divorce

“She said her husband would bring other women into the house, and committed other abusive acts. When she asked him about bringing other women into her house, he would say it was because Xoli loved her children more than she loved him,” Mlaba said.

She said they were grateful the man was arrested, and thanked police for their work.

Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza welcomed the arrest. She said the department planned to put Mpungose in a place of safety after the tragedy.

Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda said the number of women killed in the province was shocking. He said about 30 women had been killed since the start of the year.

Kaunda said it was everyone’s responsibility to ensure women felt safe at all times.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the man was arrested in Sub 5, not far from Wyebank. “He is expected to appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court soon to face four counts of murder.”

Daily News

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