The overhead bridge on the N3 in front of the Liberty Midlands Mall where the man jumped to his death. Picture Shan Pillay

Pietermaritzburg - While one Pietermaritzburg family struggles to come to terms with the death of a daughter, another family waits anxiously at a son’s hospital bed, hoping he recovers.

What was supposed to be a routine day at work for 28-year-old Sindi Mashengu turned to terror and tragedy when her former fiancé, who cannot be named at this stage, stabbed her twice in the neck, killing her, before jumping off a bridge in an attempted suicide.

The man remains in a critical condition in hospital having sustained head and spinal trauma. His brother told the Daily News this morning that the family were devastated by what had happened.

“We extend our sincere condolences to Sindi’s family. We don’t know how he could have done this. We are still shocked. We hope he recovers so he can explain his actions. Right now only he, Sindi and God know what led to this tragedy,” the brother said

Mashengu, who was a parking ticket attendant at the Liberty Midlands Mall, was attacked by her former fiancee while she worked at Gate 2 exit/entrance at the mall.

A witness spoke of his horror at watching the tragedy early on Monday.

Daryl Lopes said the couple had been arguing as they walked out of the mall’s second parking exit.

“I could tell that the guy was really angry with the woman. He was shouting at her in Zulu and she looked like she was crying,” he told the Daily News on Monday.

“Then all of a sudden I saw his hand fly towards her neck and the woman collapsed.”

Lopes said he saw the man run towards Sanctuary Road bridge near the mall and jump off.

“I am still in a state of shock. I can’t believe that anyone would do that,” he said.

A mall security guard said he saw the woman fall to the ground and ran to her assistance.

“I saw a man running away but I did not chase after him. I was more concerned about the woman,” he said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Traffic on the N3 around the mall backed up for an hour as police and paramedics attended to the scene.

The suspect landed on the slow lane of the southbound N3 and suffered extensive injuries to his back and head in the fall, but escaped being hit by oncoming vehicles.

ER24 spokesman Russell Meiring said the man had been taken to hospital where he was in a critical condition. The woman had two stab wounds to the neck, he said.

Mall spokeswoman Umi Khan said the mall’s Gate 2 would remain closed until police had concluded their on-scene investigations.

“We extend our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased. We are co-operating with the SAPS in every way possible,” Khan said, adding that due to the case being investigated, management could not comment further.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said a case of murder was being investigated.

Once the injured man had recovered from his injuries – he is under police guard at Medi-Clinic Hospital – he would appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court in connection with the murder, Zwane said.

Daily News