Jazz great mourns ‘daddy’s girl’

The body of Nonceba Mzondo, 22, was found in a field near her Gugulethu, Cape Town, home last Sunday. She had been beaten to death. Next to her body was that of her dog.

“I’m in great shock. This is so painful. I am not able to say anything,” said saxophonist Mrubata, who lives in Johannesburg.

Standing outside her NY3 Gugulethu home, Nonceba’s mother, Thobeka Mzondo, shook her head in disbelief.

“I don’t believe what happened. I saw her on Saturday evening. I can’t believe I won’t see her again, it just doesn’t make sense.”

Mzondo said she thought her daughter was sleeping safely in her room when a friend of hers arrived at her house on Sunday.

“She had a strange look on her face. She asked me where Nonceba was and I said: ‘In bed.’ She asked me to check. I did, but Nonceba wasn’t there.

“That’s when she told me my baby was lying in the field. I couldn’t go and identify the body, I couldn’t do it. I sent a relative.

“He told me my baby’s eyes were dug out of her head and her skull was cracked.

“No one deserves to die like that. I can’t believe this,” she said as friends and relatives – including her other daughter, Asanda Mzondo, 27 – gathered around her.

Nonceba was found on her side with several wounds to her head, apparently caused by a blunt object.

Police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn said a post-mortem examination would be conducted to determine how Nonceba died and whether she had been raped.

A friend of the family, Jane Mzongwana, said her daughter spotted a body in the field and called the police.

“She told me that Nonceba went out with friends last Saturday night. They all went to Nonceba’s house afterwards and left a while later.

“Apparently, Nonceba then went to look for them with her dog at about 2am. After that, no one knows what happened,” said Mzongwana.

“Nonceba was such a sweet, quiet girl. How could somebody even think of doing such a thing to this girl, who loved her family and friends?” asked Mzongwana.

Mzondo said her daughter was extremely close to her father.

“She was a daddy’s girl. She called him often. When I called him this morning to tell him what happened, he couldn’t accept it. McCoy just couldn’t handle it, he was so traumatised,” she said.

Mrubata’s close friend, trumpeter Fezile “Feya” Faku, said he was “shocked and disgusted” by the murder.

“I don’t know how people can do things like this, and it’s not the first time this has happened.”

In July, 14-year-old Bianca Macwili was found raped and murdered in nearby Makhaya, Khayelitsha.

Government officials have slammed this latest brutal attack as “shocking”, especially as it comes in the midst of the 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Child Abuse campaign.

But they agreed that this “sad” incident made the campaign “even more relevant”.

Campaign convener Nomatyala Hangana said: “This is very unfortunate. We cannot bring back Mrubata’s daughter but we must make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.” ‘ SAPA.

December 2006
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