NOMPUMELELO Ngubane (38) was threatened weeks ahead of her wedding, to cancel it or die.
On Friday, the eve of her wedding day, Ngubane’s body was found in her car at KwaPata near Pietermaritzburg.
Her family believe she had been strangled to death and police are investigating a case of murder.
The mother of two, from Edendale, is believed to have left home on Friday morning to fetch her wedding gown and do her hair.
Ngubane, a nurse at Edendale hospital, was due to get married on the weekend at the Golden Horse Casino.
Speaking to The Witness, her grieving mother Ntombifikile said she had last spoken to her daughter at around 8.30 am on Friday.
“She left home very early to go and do her hair and also fetch her wedding gown from the boutique in town. She told me she was not going to be gone for long.”
When Ngubane did not return home by 5 pm that day, her family started getting concerned. “We tried to reach her on her cellphone but it was off. One of her brothers said he had last communicated with her on WhatsApp at around 1.40 pm that day.”
Her mother said they later learned that Ngubane did not arrive at the boutique to fetch her dress as per the arrangement.
Ngubane’s body was found slumped in the passenger seat of her car at around 7 pm on Friday in the KwaPata area in Edendale.
According to her family, there was a belt around her neck, suggesting she had been strangled and her face was covered with her head scarf.
Her handbag and her wallet and cellphone were also missing.
Her car was seen by locals on the side of the road from around 2 pm that day but they did not realise that a body was in the vehicle.
One of her relatives who lives in KwaPata was told that Ngubane was missing and she later found out that the car had been spotted in the area. “Most locals who had seen her car in the area thought she was there to visit the relative.
“Passers-by could not see there was a person in the car because both the front seats were lowered.”
Ntombifikile said after searching for her daughter for hours, the relative told her that her daughter’s car was parked in KwaPata.
“We asked the relative to go to the car and see if Nompumelelo was there.”
The relative then discovered her body.
“She saw her inside the car and thought she may have fallen asleep. She knocked on the window but there was no response. She then opened the door and shook her but she did not respond.”
Police and paramedics were called in and they declared Ngubane dead at the scene.
Ntombifikile said weeks before her wedding, her daughter had received numerous threats telling her to cancel the nuptials.
“She received numerous threatening calls and WhatsApp messages for her to cancel her wedding. A few weeks before the wedding, we found a letter that was slipped under the front door and the letter told her to “cancel the wedding or die”.
“I feared for her life and I tried to get her to postpone the wedding but she refused and assured me that nothing would happen.”
Ntombifikile described her daughter as a loving and kind person who loved her children.
“We are all still very shocked. She was very excited — as we all were and looking forward to her wedding day. It was all she spoke about in the past few weeks.
“It is heartbreaking that we are now making preparations for her funeral.”
Plessislaer police station spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela said they are investigating a case of murder and that no arrests have been made yet.
Ngubane will be buried on Saturday.