Police praise Site C residents

Nomlozi Ninini, mother of Bongiwe, lights a candle in memory of her her daughter.

Nomlozi Ninini, whose daughter Bongiwe was killed and stuffed in a drain near Thembani Shopping Centre opposite Site C two years ago, said she wept with relief when the killers of her daughter were sentenced to life in prison.

This emerged when the South African Police Services (SAPS) held a special prayer meeting for members at Ntlanganiso High School, in Site C, on Saturday March 3.

The gathering also celebrated the conviction of the four men, Masithembe Solantsi, Phumlani Nyewu, Melikhaya Mgushelo and Thabiso Balithoba who were sentenced on Monday February 13 at the Western Cape High Court (“Bongiwe killers sentenced”, Vukani, February 16 ).

The poorly attended event was also aimed at applauding the Site C community for working with the police to apprehend the perpetrators, and detectives and officers from the Khayelitsha police station were praised for their work in the case.

Ms Ninini said she knew that nothing could be done to bring back her child, but was grateful to the police for ensuring a speedy sentencing for the killers.

She said she found inner peace and looked forward to rebuilding her life.

Ms Ninini said she could not imagine anything more painful than losing a child the way she did. She said while the parents of her daughter’s killers were angry with her, she never blamed them.

“I know that they did not instruct their children to kill my daughter. What hurt me the most is the fact that the perpetrators are people I lived with in the same street,” she said. “But I will live in peace knowing that the killers of my child are paying for what they did.”

Provincial deputy commissioner, Major General, Mzwandile Mzamane, said police officers risked their lives to protect and serve the community, and that it was terrifying that in some communities, residents considered police officers to be the enemy. Major General Mzamane slammed the killing of police officers and encouraged residents to work with them instead, pointing out that Bongiwe’s case was a good example of a community police partnership.

“Police officers are fathers, mothers and providers to their families.

“They are here to protect you, but the community fail to protect them,” he said, warning people against taking law into their own hands.

Chairperson of Site B Community Police Forum (CPF), Nomawethu Mosana, said at times angry residents wanted to burn the shacks of the killers, but pleaded with them not to, as they might destroy crucial evidence. She said they were pleased with how the police had handled the case.