Nontsikelelo Mpahlwa-Mene

The grieving Mpahlwa family is expected to be informed today of the results of an initial investigation into the death of former Grahamstown school principal Nontsikelelo ‘Ntsiki’ Mpahlwa-Mene, who was found at her home on Saturday. Both police and the family said no foul play was suspected. According to the family, she suffered from a terminal medical condition.

Family spokesperson Mzukisi Mpahlwa said his niece had raised the alarm when Ntsiki failed to answer her phone after repeated calls. When family members went to her Cradock Heights home, their concern grew when they saw washing hanging on the line that appeared to have been there for days. The house was locked and the last time anyone had heard from her was 30 April.

Mpahlwa, who is Ntsiki’s cousin, said a locksmith had opened the house under the supervision of the police and they’d found her lying on the floor.

“She lived alone,” Mpahlwa said. “We think she probably fell and was unable to get up. It could have happened any time between Monday and Saturday.”

Ntsiki was the only child of Tholoma Mpahlwa. At 26 years of age she left a secure job at Rhodes University to study Matric full-time at Nathaniel Pamela in Peddie.

Ntsiki went on and completed a BA degree and a B. Ed Honours degree from Vista University. She taught in numerous schools including in Peddie, Fort Beaufort, Alicedale and lastly in Grahamstown as a Principal at CM Vellem Junior Secondary School Principal, where she retired.

“While not having children of her own, Ntsiki took under her wing a number of underprivileged school children in all the schools where she taught,” Mpahlwa said.

She adopted all the children of her cousins and made sure that they received the best possible education.  

“Truly a pillar in the family, a generous person has passed away in the most tragic circumstances,” Mpahlwa said. “The family is grateful for the outpouring support it received from the community of Grahamstown.”

Nontsikelelo Mpahlwa-Mene leaves behind her aunt, Nozipho, six cousins and numerous nieces and nephews.

Last Modified: Wed, 09 May 2018 09:02:06 SAST