South African police officer commits suicide after killing his ex-girlfriend and their one-year-old daughter

Friday, April 12, 2024
 – A South African police officer has committed suicide after killing his 27-year-old girlfriend, Abona Magaba, and their one-year-old daughter, Lihlume Magaba.

Thembelani Lamani shot and killed Aboni and Lihlume at her parents home in Samora Machel, Cape Town, on 10 April 2024.

It is alleged that the suspect, who was also a police officer stationed at Faure, used his service pistol to murder Abona after she ended their relationship a couple of weeks ago.

Lamani had allegedly visited Abona’s home the days before the brutal murder to convince her to get back together, but she refused.

The suspect came back on 10 April, and when Abona’s family tried to stop him from entering the house, he started shooting, killing his ex-girlfriend and their child.

Abona’s younger sister, 13, was also shot in the leg but survived the incident.

The suspect then went to his vehicle, where he allegedly turned his service pistol on himself.

Speaking to journalists, the deceased's mother, Nozuko Magaba explained Lamani had been visiting their home, trying to get back with Aboni but she refused.

"I was walking out of the yard, he was standing outside by the gate and he was smoking. I knew him, he was in a relationship with my daughter. I asked him why he was here and told him not to go into my house while smoking,” the grief-stricken woman said.

“He took out a gun and I told Abona to lock the door. My 14-year-old daughter locked the door, he shot just under the lock and then shot at the window to the passage and then went to the window on the side of the house and broke it and gained entry.

“There were so many shots, all I could say to the people was that my family was being annihilated. And then I heard my husband shout, ‘Why have you come to kill my child in my house?

“Shortly after that, I heard another shot. I decided to run to my sister’s house and told her that people have been killed in my house

"The police responded very quickly and asked where the shooting was. I told them in my house, they went inside..

“They told me not to go inside and they told me that my husband was still alive, but my eldest daughter and grandchild had been killed and that the young one had been shot in the legNozuko said Lamani then shot and killed himself in the car which was parked outside the house."

The gandmother explained that the relationship between Abona and Lamani was turbulent.

“He was an abusive man and we didn’t approve of him. Where my daughter drew the line was when he broke her laptop from work and her cellphone because he accused her of cheating, which wasn’t true. My daughter was either with him or here at home

"My daughter had to buy a laptop which cost R15 000 because her employer didn’t care what happened.”

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie said detectives in Samora Machel are probing the circumstances surrounding the death of three people which includes that of an off-duty police constable.

“The tragic incident happened on Wednesday evening at about 7pm at Basil February Street, Samora Machel. Preliminary investigation suggests that the off-duty police constable shot his girlfriend, her daughter and wounded a 13-year-old girl in the leg who resides at the same address," Pojie said.

“He then went to his car where he allegedly turned his service pistol on himself. Two counts of murder, an attempted murder and an inquest were opened for further investigation.”

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