CAPE TOWN - The wife of prominent dead medical practitioner Dr Nhlanhla Masuku of Esikhaleni, outside Richards Bay, has rejected the apology from her husband's killer.
Siyabonga Dlamini, 38, apologised to Dr Lungile Masuku following the Offender's Public Apology, hosted by The Department of Correctional Services last Thursday.
Masuku described the events leading up to her husband’s murder.
“I was in town waiting for him to take me to dinner when I received a phone call from him informing me that he would be running late because patients had just arrived. It is those same boys who killed him," said Masuku.
The mother of three children said the killing of her husband destroyed her life because of the pivotal role he played in their household, including that of raising the children and funding her medical studies.
"I would like to reiterate that I have not forgiven him. I had a 4-month-old child when my husband was murdered. I had just qualified for medical school and was unemployed. I had two other small children and needed my husband in my life during that period.
“They have no idea how much they have destroyed me and so I would like to officially state that it hasn’t occurred for me to forgive him."
The incident also affected her reputation in the community.
“What hurt me the most is that I was accused of killing my husband,” she said.
She said she does not wish the hardship she endured on others, as some relatives even distanced themselves from her due to the accusations. She said she was not ready to forgive her husband’s killers.
Masuku was killed in a botched robbery on December 10, 2002, at his Entokozweni surgery next to Esikhawini College.
Dlamini said the need for drugs was the driving factor behind the murder.
According to Dlamini, the time he has spent in prison has been life changing.
"What made me request the Victim-Offender-Dialogue with the Masuku family was a programme I was involved in while in prison. I realised that I didn’t hurt just one person, but the entire community," said Dlamini.
“Drugs are a problem in our community and continue to be a problem even in prison,” he added.
Community member and former councillor for Ward 22, Gertrude Mbanjwa profusely described the hurt and lost that the community suffered as result of the doctor’s death.
She encouraged Correctional Services to conduct an in-depth investigation of drug consumption in communities and prisons.
Dlamini is currently serving his sentence at Westville Prison and has vowed that when he is released he will be a changed man. He also advised against drug consumption and highlighted his wish to visit schools and educate the youth about the dangers of drug consumption.
He emphasised his remorse and said he hopes to rehabilitate holistically once he is released.
Masuku said she will keep fighting to accomplish her husband’s dreams.
“I have a duty to carry on his legacy. I know the dreams that he had. That's why he took me to school to pursue medical studies. He had dreams that we would fulfil certain things and it was my duty to try to fulfil some of those dreams.”