'She just wanted to be great,' says Ntokozo Xaba's family after TUT student's murder

04 February 2023 - 14:11
By Khanyisile Ngcobo
Student Ntokozo Xaba, 21, was found murdered in her residence at Tshwane University of Technology.
Image: Supplied Student Ntokozo Xaba, 21, was found murdered in her residence at Tshwane University of Technology.

A Newcastle family has been left reeling after the murder this week of Ntokozo Mayenzi Xaba, allegedly at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

Xaba's name trended on Friday after family members and Women for Change shared details of her death, which is said to have taken place at a Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) residence.

According to police, she was drinking with friends, including her ex-boyfriend, on Wednesday.

The ex represented Blue Bulls country districts in the 2022 season, the club confirmed.

The friends reportedly left the two together that night, said police spokesperson Col Dimakatso Sello.

“The following morning, the victim was found dead with stab wounds on the neck. The ex-boyfriend has been taken in for questioning by the police. Investigations continue,” said Sello.

Xaba, 21, was a third-year student and stayed at the university’s Ekhaya Junction residence in Pretoria, the university confirmed.

Her distraught family has broken their silence on the young woman's death, with Xaba's cousin, who did not want to be named, sharing the family's pain.

“We grew up together, since she was six months old until I had to leave for school. She went to Pretoria and I went to Mpumalanga,” she said.

The woman opened up about Xaba and the suspect's two-year relationship, which reportedly ended last year, revealing that it became abusive towards the end.

“She didn't want to disclose to us that the guy was abusing her but the friends saw everything.

“She [eventually] went to report to the police station, but the police didn't help her ... you know how our justice system is. So she tried running away, every time he came to res, she ran away to go stay [with] our mutual friend,” the distraught 26-year-old told TimesLIVE.

This, combined with allegations of stalking by the suspect, made Xaba's friends reluctant to leave her with him that fateful night after he asked to speak to her.

According to her cousin, they only did so when she insisted it was fine.

“Apparently, they were talking and then the guy left. He [allegedly] stabbed Mayenzi on the neck and beat her up.

“They [later] tried knocking and she didn't answer. They tried knocking again until they saw blood on the door handle and they opened, to find her sleeping in bed with blood ... on her face.”

She lamented her cousin's reluctance to open up about the alleged abuse, revealing that Xaba was hesitant due to the accused's possessive nature.

She regarded Xaba as her little sister and described her as a bubbly, intelligent woman.

What I'll miss about her is her [honesty], love and care. She cared for others, she would put others before her. She loved her siblings.
Ntokozo Mayenzi Xaba's cousin

“She just wanted to be great, she wanted to have a nice life for herself. She was very outgoing, very educated.

“What I'll miss about her is her [honesty], love and care. She cared for others, she would put others before her. She loved her siblings,” she said.

The Blue Bulls released a statement, saying that while they “do not know all the details pertaining to the incident, we wish to reiterate that [we] continue to stand in one voice, condemning all forms of gender-based violence in the strongest of terms”.

President of the Blue Bulls rugby union Willem Strauss sent condolences to Xaba's family.

“I would like to send my heartfelt message of condolences to a family whose world has been turned upside down — a family who [has lost] a branch from their tree that was filled with so much promise of all that is good about life.

“As a parent and grandparent, I cannot imagine the amount of pain and sorrow that fills your hearts at this very moment, a pain that is likely to linger for a long while because losing a loved one is never easy, more especially when it is your child.

“We raise our children to see them rise and blossom into these incredible beings full of potential to change our world and when their lives are cut short, we are never the same because we live in the empty wonder of what could have been. I hope and pray that as a family, God’s love will bring you all the comfort you need in this terrible hour.”

The club added that due to the nature of the matter, it would not “make any further comments at this stage”.


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