Sheriff shot in home

Mbulelo Nogqala was gunned down in his home last week.

The callous killing of deputy sheriff Mbulelo Nogqala has been described by member of the provincial legislature Mark Wiley as an attack on justice itself.

Mr Nogqala, 37, was murdered at home by three men in a targeted assassination; in front of his family, on Wednesday June 22.

The attack has robbed three children of their father and a wife of the husband she was totally in love with.

In fact, one of the three children, aged five, 14 and 15, that Mr Nogqala was raising as his own is actually his late brother’s child. “But after our brother died he raised the child as his own,” said Sidima Nogqala, Mbulelo’s brother.

Mbulelo’s children and wife were witness to the cold blooded killing, said Sidima.

While the family has no evidence to back it up, they believe Mr Nogqala was murdered because of his work.

“He used to tell us often how people refused to accept the papers from the court, and how they would swear at him and say certain things to him about his job,” Sidima said.

He said that one of the family’s children had been playing outside when three young men approached him. They asked if Mbulelo was inside and the child said yes. One of the men restrained the child while the other two entered the house with their firearms already drawn.

Sidima said that, according to the family’s reports, the men burst into the lounge and asked Mbulelo to identify himself. He was sitting on the sofa eating supper at the time, with his wife and two children next to him.

He stood up and gave his name.

“One of the men said kill the dog, kill the dog, and three shots were fired at him. The men were about to leave when one said to the other, ‘make sure we finish him’ and the second came back and shot him again, even as he lay there in a pool of blood,” Sidima said.

He said the men were not known to the family. “They are not from the community, these men. We all live in Masi and we know our community, no one had ever seen these men before. We believe they are hired guns, to do the dirty work, they themselves were not bearing any grudge,” Sidima said.

He described his brother as a good man, a Christian, who would always walk the extra mile for anybody in need. “He was a pastor and well loved in the community. This is a terrible thing that has happened.”

He also said his brother’s widow was grieving terribly, and still can’t accept what has happened. “She can’t take it, she is still full of memories,” he said.

He said the children have been receiving counselling.

Mbulelo’s former employer, Manu Choudree of Mach 1 Security, spoke with great sadness about the loss of Mbulelo’s good spirit, of his energy and joy for life.

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“He worked for me for six years, and he always dealt with things very differently – he made everyone laugh, even the homeless people in Simon’s Town. If they had made a mess he would turn up and give them all sit ups and push ups, and they would laugh and laugh, and then he would hand them bags and they would clean up the mess they made. He just had such a different way of doing things: the Mbulelo way,” Mr Choudree said.

He described Mbulelo as driven, compassionate, sports mad and a real joker.

Among the staff there were many body building enthusiasts and while he worked there, Mbulelo was one of them, entering friendly competitions and taking part in as many sporting or fun events as he could.

“He loved going to gym, being healthy and happy. He made everyone around him smile. And even though the job he took as a deputy sheriff was a difficult one, he always delivered his papers with compassion. And he kept in touch with us even after he left. I always said to him that if things didn’t work out as a deputy sheriff, he was always welcome to come back to us.”

Mr Wiley, the DA’s chief whip in the provincial legislature, urged anyone with information about the murder to relay this to the police.

He met with Mr Nogqala’s widow on Friday June 24.

“This was a good man, murdered in cold blood by three men in his Pokela Road home, in Masiphumelele,” he said.

Mr Wiley described Mr Nogqala as a dedicated servant of the law, a keen rugby player and well-liked in the community.

“I urge everyone that could have any information to hand it over to the police. The murderers and the people behind them must be found and justice be served for his family and for our criminal system,” Mr Wiley said.

Mr Wiley further said the sheriff’s office performs a key role in enforcing the criminal justice process, delivering the orders of the courts.

“The assassination of the deputy sheriff is an attack on the weak underbelly of our justice system. Sheriffs plays an essential role in our communities. They hand out summonses, notices, warrants and court orders, and are actively involved in the prevention of family violence, and to ensure that men pay maintenance.”

Mr Wiley stressed the importance of people reporting what they know. “It is absolutely essential for the police to find these perpetrators and justice to be served. We cannot let criminals threaten our justice system by intimidating its servants.”

Captain Frederick van Wyk of SAPS’ Western Cape Media Centre, said the circumstances and motive surrounding Mr Nogqala’s killing are being investigated, and the investigation is ongoing.

“It is reported that two of the suspects were armed with firearms when they entered the house and shot the victim several times, all shots were fired to the body. The suspects then fled the scene in an unknown motor vehicle,” he said.

“The deceased has three children who live with him, and they received counselling at the scene and also afterwards at the Victim Empowerment (Support) Room at the police station, by counsellors,” Captain Van Wyk said.