One year on, community remembers children hanged by dad
Durban - A YEAR later and the Wyebank community, west of Durban, has not forgotten that a father hanged his three children in their family home on Marigold Road.
On September 3, 2019, Sibusiso Mpungose hanged his three biological children in their home - Sphesihle, 10, Khwezi, 6, and Kuhlekonke Mpungose, 4 - and his stepdaughter Ayakha Jiyane, 16, in bush in Pinetown.
Mpungose pleaded guilty in October and in November was sentenced to four life terms .
In his guilty plea, he said he had been experiencing problems with his wife, Xoli Mpungose, and she had wanted a divorce.
He said this left him devastated and he decided to kill himself and his children.
In handing down the sentence, presiding Judge Sharmaine Balton said Mpungose’s actions were “horrendous” and “inhumane”.
Ayakha would have been a matric pupil this year, something her mother was looking forward to, and her matric dance.
Her fellow pupils had wept uncontrollably at a special assembly the day after the murders and during her memorial service.
Reports suggest the children’s mother has since returned to work.
Although life has gone on for the Wyebank community, the scars of September 3 still remain with some of the neighbours.
One neighbour was inconsolable after the incident.
Yesterday, she told the Daily News that her heart was still broken from the events of that day.
She said that yesterday was her birthday and she had been thinking about the incident.
“I remember because they came to my gate and asked me for sweets,” she said.
She said Xoli had not returned to the family home and that there were new occupants.
It had been left empty since the night of the murders, was given a facelift and has new occupants, but a dark shadow still hangs over it.
Neighbours who had recently moved there said they lived on the other side of Wyebank when the murders happened, and even then they were horrified and could not sleep that week.
“We’re scared. It’s not that we’re feeling a ghostly presence but there’s this heaviness,” the neighbour said.
“We were sad from the time the children were gone.
“The children used to stand here (by the gate) and wait for their transport. My son used to come and give them sweets. My son used to like them,” said a neighbour.