Witness saw man kill ex-lover, then himself
Legal Aid paralegal allegedly shot four times by her former boyfriend. The couple broke up in December
A businessman who had just shot and killed his paralegal former lover was seen walking away from her body, turning on his heels, returning to where she lay, staring at her and then shooting himself.
Residents of Amalinda, East London, were shocked when the gunshots rang out in Jade Street at 7pm on Thursday night.
The two bodies lay within metres of each other.
The 49-year-old victim, Nandipha Phama, from Port Elizabeth, who had worked for Legal Aid in East London since 2008, died at the scene after she was shot four times in the upper body.
Her 52-year-old former live-in boyfriend, Skhalo Mphoza, from Mzimkhulu, then shot and killed himself.
East London police spokesperson Captain Hazel Mqala on Friday confirmed that a murder case was being investigated by police, while an inquest docket into Mphoza’s suicide was also opened on Thursday night.
Mqala said the incident took place at about 7.30pm as Phama was alighting from her car in front of a rented house she once shared with her former boyfriend.
“It is alleged that while she was inside her car talking on the phone, her ex-boyfriend entered the house carrying a firearm in one hand and a knife in the other.
“He then asked the victim’s whereabouts from another tenant but he was informed that she was not in the house.
“The suspect then walked outside and saw the victim getting out of her vehicle.
“It is alleged that he then shot the victim in the upper body and then shot himself also in the upper body.
“The police and paramedics were called and they were both certified dead on the spot,” said Mqala.
Police said a 9mm Norinco pistol, with its serial number still intact, was found on the scene.
Legal Aid SA’s national spokesperson Mfanafuthi Shabangu on Friday confirmed that Phama had been employed at the organisation’s East London offices.Shabangu said staff at the organisation were left reeling in shock by this “senseless incident” of gender-based violence, and were allowed to leave work early on Friday as some could not cope with the tragic news.“Legal Aid South Africa is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Nandipha Phama.“[She] played a vital role in ensuring access to justice for awaiting-trial prisoners and incarcerated persons, and was well-known as a helpful and reliable face of the justice system in the prisons. The organisation extends its condolences to the family and colleagues of our employee.“Legal Aid SA strongly condemns gender-based violence and is an active participant in a number of dialogues and structures established to tackle this widespread violation of human rights in our country,” he said.Legal Aid’s Eastern Cape provincial executive Hope Bambiso said the incident was unacceptable.“We are reeling from this tragic news.“Statistics show that three women die at the hands of their intimate partners every day in South Africa,” said Bambiso.“This is unacceptable and we are offering our support to the family of our dear colleague, and will fiercely honour her memory through our continued work to eradicate gender-based violence from our daily lives.”Phama’s family spokesperson Linda Magaxeni on Friday said the estranged couple had been together for the past eight years until their break-up in December.“We are all very shocked by this unbelievable incident. We knew that the couple had their ups and downs, but never expected that it could end like this.“Nandipha was a very sweet and loving person who was loved by everyone she worked with, including prisoners who she worked closely with in some jails.“Skhalo also had a very sweet side as well.“He was sweet, humble and respectful, but it seems like he did not take the recent break-up kindly,” Magaxeni said.Mphoza’s son could not be reached for comment at the time of writing on Friday.An eye-witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was standing outside his house just after 7pm when he spotted the shooter, whom he recognised. He said he saw the man walking towards the victim’s house after he had left his bakkie at a nearby petrol station.“The couple once stayed together at this rented house but have had an on and off relationship since last year.“I understand they broke up in December, but the guy kept on visiting.“On that day, he went inside that house, but later came out and hid behind a white Corsa parked in the yard.“When the woman finally arrived in her Polo, he approached her, an argument ensued and the next thing I heard was a number of shots being fired.“I think I heard about four shots,” he said.The source said the man later walked away towards the petrol station where his vehicle was parked, but quickly turned back towards where the woman’s lifeless body lay.“That is when he pointed the gun at his head and shot himself,” said the source.Magaxeni said Phama leaves behind a 16-year-old daughter and her three brothers.“I cannot give much details at this moment about what will happen going forward as I will be meeting up with her family on Saturday morning in Port Elizabeth,” Magaxeni said...