Pumla Mvinjelwa Ntombela and her two children need a dignified burial!

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We the undersigned Mvinjelwa family, friends and women's rights activists demand the release of Pumla Mvinjelwa Ntombela and her two children for a dignified funeral.

On 26 September 2019, Pumla was brutally gunned down along with her two daughters (Nhlanhla, 10 and Bajabulile six years old). Pumla (33 years old) was found dead in her doorway, her two young children where shot while in bed and their father Sithembile Ntombela, 36 years old lying dead as well next to the children. Pumla and Sithembele have been married for more than 10 years.

According to the police, the father left a suicide note on the couch where he admitted to shooting the family, before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide. Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the incident: “The circumstances surrounding the death of a family of four are being investigated following an incident during the early hours at a residence in Bardale Village, Mfuleni.  “It is suspected that the male person was responsible for their deaths. Three murder cases and a death inquest have been opened”.

The expectations of the family and the community are who must decide on the place of burial if (i) the two adults were married, (ii) living together with children as a family, (iii) were not in the process of severing ties or getting divorced. What we can make of instructions in the alleged suicide note of the husband reported as ‘telling her not to come’. “In the suicide note he instructed Pumla to get R100 000 from Discovery and give it to his mother for his funeral and told her not to come. This is why we think he planned to do something about his life.

The family recently learnt on 14 October 2019 that the Ntombela family has removed their son’s body for burial and left Pumla and her children state mortuary. The Ntombela family prioritising the release of their son's body and not of the whole family indicates clearly that they have no good intentions for Pumla and her kid. .After several attempts by the Mvinjelwa family to be civil to the Ntombela family have yielded not amicable solution.  In view of the circumstances of Pumla and her children’s death, we ask the following;

1.            The deceased “blood relations” to bury her and her children if none is chosen by way of a Will. The expectations of the community, fairness and reasonableness dictate that they should bury the deceased.

2.            The husband (and his family), who had a strained relationship with Pumla and her family to a point of causing her death, cannot be expected to give her a decent funeral as it would be the case with her “blood relations”.

3.            If the husband wanted to be rid of Pumla as a wife and their children whilst he was still alive (inferring that he was the last one to die in that fatal shooting incident)