The late Edward Nelwamondo and his wife, Edzisani Matumba, in happier times.
Barely a week after Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale, the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) and DC Academy launched the Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) campaign in Thohoyandou (18 June), yet another couple died in what appears to be a case of domestic violence.
The couple were identified as well-known security company manager Edward Nelwamondo (44) and his wife, also a well-known businesswoman and philanthropist, Edzisani Matumba (49) of Maniini village.
According to reports received, the couple went to consult a lawyer at his offices in the Old Mutual building near the Game store in Thohoyandou at around 13:00 on Friday (24th). The lawyer was apparently trying to resolve a dispute between them, but when he could not be found at that moment, Nelwamondo allegedly went berserk and shot his wife before turning the gun on himself.
Police and forensic pathologists who were summoned to the scene found the couple lying side by side with gunshot wounds in a pool of blood inside the lawyer’s office.
The incident has left communities in Thohoyandou baffled, with questions as to what is needed to finally bring the spate of gender-based violence and femicide to an end.
The MEC for the Department of Social Development, Nkakareng Rakgoale, condemned the incident, saying that it had become too easy to take a woman’s life. “We reiterate our call for people who are experiencing difficulties in their relationships to approach social workers for professional assistance, rather than taking lives violently in this manner. For this incident to have happened while the family was seeking legal assistance, shows that there may have been deep-rooted issues even before the fateful day.”
Rakgoale said that gender-based violence and femicide had become a demon that must be defeated as it continued to claim innocent lives and had a negative impact on family units.
Matumba’s brother, Mr Tshifhiwa Malelelo, said the family and community were deeply saddened by the tragedy. He said that his sister had been a successful entrepreneur who had built houses for the poor and, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, donated many food parcels to the needy.
A memorial service will be held for Edward Nelwamondo on 30 June at 12:00.
Matumba’s funeral service will be held on Friday, 1 July, starting at 09:00 at the Christian Worship Centre in Maniini village, and later proceeds to Mbaleni Municipal Cemetery.
Date:30 June 2022