Ngombane murder inquest opens

An inquest into the murder of former senior Free State official Noby Ngombane, who was the right-hand man of premier Beatrice Marshoff, started after three years in Bloemfontein yesterday.

An inquest into the murder of former senior Free State official Noby Ngombane, who was the right-hand man of premier Beatrice Marshoff, started after three years in Bloemfontein yesterday.

Ngombane, a senior official in Marshoff's office and adviser to two former Free State premiers, was shot dead at his Hillsboro home on March 22 2005.

Ngombane, pictured, was shot in his driveway when he apparently went outside to investigate a vehicle that had stopped. He died in hospital.

His wife, Nokwanda Ngombane, her brother and sister, Bongani and Thandiswa, and two cousins, Vuyokazi Mlambo and Sephumle Booi, were arrested in connection with the incident but charges were later withdrawn.

When charges were withdrawn in September 2006 against her and the others, the state submitted that it had come to the conclusion that there was no reasonable chance of a successful prosecution.

Yesterday the state presented evidence of recordings of phone calls made to the emergency services and police, which were analysed by an overseas sound expert.

The phone calls were from the scene on the night of the murder.

Nokwanda and the four other people initially implicated in the matter attended the hearing. The inquest is expected to continue for the next few weeks. - Sapa

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