Slain NFP councillor’s family finally gets justice after eight-year wait

Nompumelelo Zondi Picture: Supplied

Nompumelelo Zondi Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 9, 2024


After eight years of unanswered questions about the murder of their sister and aunt, the Zondi family in Msinga finally got justice. This is after the Dundee Magistrate’s Court sentenced Sihle Acute Dlamini to life imprisonment for killing Nompumelelo Zondi, who was a National Freedom Party (NFP) PR councillor in the Nhlanhleni Municipality.

Nompumelelo was shot after she arrived at her home and was found dead on March 15, 2016, in her car with the ignition running. There were no eyewitnesses. She sustained one bullet wound in her left eye and another behind her right ear.

The murder docket had been gathering dust at a police station until the political task team and the Organised Crime Component of the National Prosecuting Authority re-established the investigation before the Covid-19 pandemic.

In May last year, Dlamini was arrested after his fingerprints linked him to Nomphumelelo’s vehicle when he had been charged with burglary for a different matter.

In his confession, Dlamini said he was paid R2 500 to kill Zondi.

When the court sentenced him, Magistrate AJ Feriera declared him unfit to possess a firearm.

In aggravation of sentence, the State senior prosecutor advocate Elvis Gcweka told the court that Dlamini could not be rehabilitated because he did not show remorse for his actions.

“The accused did not take the court in full confidence. He denied the confession and fingerprints. The death of the deceased affected her family and the society at large. She was a councillor in consecutive terms,” he said.

Gcweka said Nompumelelo was killed because she was against certain individuals of the NFP who wanted the position of mayor and her position as a councillor in the Matshematshe area in Pomeroy.

“She had a deciding vote in the election of a mayor. That was the reason she had to be eliminated. There were numerous threats against her life. The organisation still did not provide her with bodyguards. It was internal politics,” said Gcweka.

Nompumelelo’s older brother, Msawenkosi Zondi, applauded police intelligence for apprehending Dlamini and the prosecution for its hard work. He said this should be a lesson to anyone that you do not just kill a person and get away with it.

“My sister was everything and there was nothing she could not do. After her death everything stopped,” Zondi said.

Meanwhile, Nompumelelo’s niece, Nonjabulo Zondi, said the family was grateful to have received justice after a long time.

“We always wondered what happened. Hearing that confession took us back to that horrible time and brought us a lot of pain,” Nonjabulo said.

Although Dlamini had been sentenced, Zondi said they would also like for the other people he worked with to be arrested.

“When the task team first came home to ask a few questions we started to have hope,” she said.

Nonjabulo said she could not remember when the police started coming to the family, but it was between 2018 to 2019. She said they were grateful to the dedicated team for their hard work.

Talking about her aunt, Nonjabulo said Nompumelelo did not have children of her own but took care of four children and ensured they went to school.

She said her aunt took her to university and she now has a National Diploma in Tourism.

Nonjabulo said when her aunt was gunned down, they were planning on opening a catering business and she had started buying a few things. But those plans came to a standstill.

Sunday Tribune