Killer cop was a monster to his slain former wife

He had no regard for court orders

Noxolo Sibiya Journalist
Ntombozodwa Khumalo's father and her mother Sydney khumalo and Sophie kumalo during her memorial service in Brits, North West.
Ntombozodwa Khumalo's father and her mother Sydney khumalo and Sophie kumalo during her memorial service in Brits, North West.
Image: Antonio Muchave

The cop who shot and killed his pregnant ex-wife had allegedly been threatening her for months before ultimately gunning her down in full view of staff and patients at Brits Hospital in North West.

This according to the family of Ntombizodwa Khumalo, 35, , who died in a hail of bullets last week.

Khumalo, who was eight months pregnant, was shot just after 7pm, minutes before her shift started.

She worked as a desk operator.

Her ex-husband Sgt Tebogo Mpete, a police officer at the Silverton rapid rail, handed himself over to police after allegedly calling a member of the family, informing them of what he had done.

Khumalo’s uncle, Jeffrey, who spoke to Sowetan on the sidelines of a memorial service that was held at the Brits White Hall, said his niece had left her marriage and filed for divorce because of abuse.

He said Mpete and Khumalo got married in 2016, and five years into the marriage, Khumalo left their Ga-Rankuwa, North of Pretoria, home when the abuse worsened.

“He used to beat her up and she kept a lot of those pictures, where you can see her bruises. She had bruises all over her body.

“The family tried to intervene many times. On about six occasions after he had beaten her up, my brother tried to sit him down and talk to him. But he was very arrogant,” Jeffrey said.

“So she gathered the strength and came back home in Brits. We got her own stand and she started afresh.”

He said Khumalo filed for divorce in 2021, which led to her receiving threats allegedly from Mpete.

“She had three court orders against him but he would violate them.”

The orders dated August 2021 and the other two issued in October that year prohibited Mpete from assaulting, threatening and insulting Khumalo.

“But he kept calling her and threatening that she and any man that came into her life would have no peace. Police failed her; they did nothing when she reported this.”

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Sabata Mokgwabone said: "At this stage, we are unable to respond fully to the query as we do not have information pertaining to the alleged contravention of the Protection Order by the Respondent."

Jeffrey said Khumalo had started recording phone calls she received from Mpete.

“She had even started keeping her own records of the threats he made. She recorded their phone conversations and started taking videos of their interactions,” Jeffrey said.

At the memorial service, Khumalo's colleagues and friends revealed how she would sometimes take time off work to report the threats to police. 

“I also got threats from the officer. While at home, I received a phone call and it was all threats. When I compared the number with Zodwa, she immediately recognised the number,” Moipone Moraka told mourners.

“We knew what she was going through. She would sometimes get the threats while she was at the office.”

Colleagues described Khumalo as a soft-spoken person who was generous and kind.

She started working at the hospital in 2013 as a cleaner and was promoted to senior telecom operator in 2019, a position she held until her death.

Mpete was found guilty by the Special commercial crimes court for soliciting a bribe from a motorist in 2016.

Sentencing in the matter is expected to be handed down next week.

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