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Pietermaritzburg man accused of murdering girlfriend remains in custody before bail application

The suspect, from Ezinketheni informal settlement in Copesville, has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Bongile Jila, 39. Picture: Succo/Pixabay

The suspect, from Ezinketheni informal settlement in Copesville, has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Bongile Jila, 39. Picture: Succo/Pixabay

Published Dec 9, 2021


DURBAN - A PIETERMARITZBURG man accused of killing his girlfriend while they were drinking in his home, has been remanded in custody.

Sifiso Patrick Ngubane, 34, from Ezinketheni informal settlement in Copesville, appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on a count of murder and his matter was adjourned to December 20 for a bail application.

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Ngubane is charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Bongile Jila, 39. He was arrested by Mountain Rise police on Monday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the victim was staying over for the night with her boyfriend on Sunday when the incident happened.

“It is alleged that they had been drinking earlier in the evening and the deceased had gone to bed. At midnight there was noise, as the accused had allegedly assaulted the victim. Someone intervened and the alleged assault stopped,” Mbele said.

The couple apparently resumed drinking together.

On Monday morning, others living on the property became aware that Jila was dead and an ambulance was called.

“Jila was declared deceased on the scene. She had been bleeding through her nose,” Mbele said.

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Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal government has employed new social workers in an attempt to tackle a high incidence of gender-based violence (GBV), abuse of women and children, and unemployment.

Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said the employing of the social workers would give a much-needed boost to the work done by the department to fight GBV.

Khoza said the newly appointed social workers would spend more time providing psychosocial support to GBV victims, and an amount of R23. 2 million had been set aside to employ the social workers.

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“The department has sent an application to the Treasury to be allowed to employ social workers because of the high demand observed due to the high number of cases of GBV,” she said.

“There are about 967 social workers employed and deployed across the province, with each district receiving 80 social workers, while eThekwini receives 167 social workers due to its vastness.

“These social workers reported for duty from December 1 and are employed on four-month contracts.”

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Khoza said the social workers would reinforce teams that were implementing the department’s mandate, including the implementation of preventive measures, education and steps to tackle the abuse often faced by women and children in society.

“These are graduate social workers who have not been employed since they left university. Some of them have used all their family savings to pay for their studies, while others were funded by the government.

“Most of these graduates are busy with documentation, such as registering for tax (with the) SA Revenue Service, because they have never been employed before.

“About 485 were captured on the personnel and salary system and will receive their payment by the end of the month,” she said.

Khoza added that the situation faced by the country as a result of the Covid-19 and GBV pandemics necessitated the employing of the social work graduates. She said although their employment was not permanent, it had a positive effort towards dealing with the pandemics and the high unemployment rate.

“In the future, we would like to absorb them to help us in the fight against the challenges we face in communities,” she said.