Warrant Officer Anani Mmpopo.
- Four men are expected to apply for bail at the Tsulu Magistrates Court on July 18 – Madiba’s birthday – for the murder of a police officer who was guarding the home of former President Kono.
- Allegedly, large stones were used to beat the officer to death.
- This is after he injured a patron in a tavern during a heated argument.
For 16 years, Chief Petty Officer of the VIP Protection Unit, Inani Mbombo, has guarded Nelson Mandela’s Qunu House with pride.
But his duty ended last Saturday when he was killed, in what is believed to be a vigilante attack, outside a bar in Tsulu after an altercation in which he shot and wounded one of his colleagues.
The attackers threw stones at him and used rocks to hit him on the head.
His widow, Ntumbekhona Mbombo, three children, and brother, Sonuapo, were shattered by the accident.
Ntumbekhona told News24 that she watched her husband take his last breaths and said it was “my worst experience”.
“I want the people who did this to him to feel the pain that I feel,” she said on Tuesday.
She described Mbombo as a caring husband and loving father.
“He loved telling jokes and was a gentleman and a family man,” she said.
Sunwabu, who helped police search for the perpetrators, believes his brother was targeted because he was someone who fought crime, and added that he suspected the attackers wanted to take his service pistol.
VIP Constable NCO Inani Mbombo first served the Republic in the SA Army.
“He hated criminals. Criminals hated him in this area of Tsulu because my brother stood up against crime… [the attackers] They kept yelling that they wanted to teach him a lesson because he thought he was untouchable because of his gun.”
He added that his brother was seriously wounded in the head.
According to Sunwabo, his brother joined him in the Transkei Defense Force before it was incorporated into the Southeast Asian National Defense Force in 1994.
He said he resigned in 2007 and immediately joined the stationary Mthatha police unit at Mandela’s home.
He has never worked in a public police station. He guarded Madiba’s house with pride. He took great pride in working in the Mandela household, and felt himself a true hero and servant of the Republic.
He described his brother as the glue that kept his siblings together.
The Hawkes family in the Eastern Cape confirmed that Mbombo worked at Mandela’s home in Qunu.
Giving details of the incident, the police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Ndivewe Mahlakovana, said Mbombo had a heated argument in the bar with one of his patrons.
“The argument is said to have culminated in a policeman shooting and injuring the shepherd with whom he was having an argument. It was also revealed that the policeman was chased by the community members as he fled from the pub. The officer was caught and disarmed by the community members on the spot,” said Mhlakovana.
Mhlakovana added that an army firearm, blank cartridges and a large boulder were seized from the scene.
The Hawks later arrested four men in connection with the killing.
Four men appeared before the Tsulu Magistrates Court on Monday accused of killing Warrant Officer Inani Mbombo.
Siphemeze Mancipa, 27, Lungisani Fantein, 35, Sibongankonke Gagane, 29, and Khanyisa Mdedelwa, 29, appeared in the Tsulu Magistrates Court for murder.
Their case was adjourned to 18 July – Mandela’s birthday – to apply for bail.
The Falcons’ District Chief, Major General Obed Ngwenya, commended Mthatha’s serious organized crime investigation team for the swift arrests.
Provincial Police Commissioner Lt. Gen. Nomthelele Min said her office will work closely with the prosecution authority to ensure a successful prosecution of those involved in Mbombo’s killing.
Min added, “We also caution communities to desist from acts of mob justice or revenge attacks. No matter the circumstances, there is no justification for people to take the law into their own hands. We encourage people to report any criminal activity to the police.” .