Five years’ jail for policeman’s killer – Lover’s marriage drives woman to murder
The family of a police officer gunned down by his secret lover after she discovered that he was married, were unhappy with the sentence given to the killer in the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday.
Constable Bongani Lembede, 43, who was at the tactical response team cluster 19, was shot and killed by Thembelihle Ngcobo on March 3 2014 in his garage at Pineview Mews in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.Ngcobo, 31, was a police officer in the same cluster with Lembede.Lembede died at the scene from gunshot wounds to his heart and lungs. Ngcobo fled the scene in her car after fatally wounding him.
Yesterday, Ngcobo pleaded guilty to killing Lembede and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. However, she will only serve 10 months in prison and then be under correctional services supervision.During her plea, Ngcobo said she and Lembede had a love relationship that went sour and at the time of the shooting they were not on good terms.”Due to bad blood that existed, I decided to kill the deceased. For that purpose I armed myself with a firearm and entered his premises and killed him after I had found out he had concealed that he was married.”
Lembede’s wife, Sindi Khanyile, said she was not happy with the sentence.”Justice didn’t prevail for us. It was like my husband deserved to die like that. I haven’t told our two-year-old twins about the death of their father.”She said a life sentence would have been appropriate, even though that would not bring back her husband.Lembede’s sister Thuli Lembede said the sentence was unfair.”The court shouldn’t have said the accused showed remorse because even that child she claims to be my brother’s is not his. My brother told us before he died that the child was not his.”She said Ngcobo had refused to do a DNA test.
Handing down sentence, Judge Thoko Dhlwathi said Ngcobo was a good candidate for rehabilitation because she had shown remorse by pleading guilty to killing Lembede.”A two-year-old child of the accused also needs a mother since she was the only parent she knew since her father died.”