Grandfather of poisoned kids mourn son: We heard he had died through social media.
As a family they were just waiting for him to wake up so he could give them answers. But unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as Veli Ngcongwane (39) died in hospital, weeks after the incident. All he wanted to know was why? Why would his son give his grandchildren poisoned energy drinks, killing three kids.
It is two weeks after Johannes Khoabane buried his three grandsons, who were given an energy drink infused with rat poison by their father who also drank the poison. Three children died, one ended up in hospital and the other didn’t drink the poison. Now Johannes is mourning his son, Veli who died this past Friday. Veli was facing multiple murder and attempted murder charges at the time of his death.
The last time he saw his son was when he was taken by the ambulance after he drank the energy drink. When the kids were at the hospital, he asked to see his son but he was told that he was not in the same hospital. Only after he died did they find out where he was.
This is a very hard for the family to process after losing four members “because someone woke up one day and decided that drinking poison was a solution to his problems”. “I still say that he could’ve drunk the poison alone and not cut the life of his children short,” Johannes tells Drum.
They were still taking in the kindness people showed them as a family when they didn’t know where to begin with burying their three grandchildren. Johannes says the news of Veli’s death caught them off guard because they were seeking answers and the family is currently broken.
They found out that Veli died through social media and WhatsApp statuses like everyone else, even though the police had their contact. He says they contacted the police officer who is handling the case and he told them that he was also shocked to see the news on social media and that he didn’t have the answer for the family at the moment. They only got the news about Veli’s death at 8pm, when the news was all over social media already.
“The police came to the house because they are still assisting the young kid who survived and their mother to go through counseling but never mentioned anything about Veli’s death. As a family, we didn’t know which hospital he was in. Initially, we thought he was in the same hospital with his kids but that was not the case. I was hoping and praying that he makes it because he owes us an explanation, but we won’t get any of that anymore.”
He says finding out that his son died through social media was heartbreaking and it saddened the family because they still had hope that they would get all the answers they need to get through their loss.
“We were advised not to visit him because he was under police watch since there was a case opened against him says,” Johannes says. So they had no idea where he was.
“We understood that, and only when he died did they tell us that he was at Pholosong Hospital,” he says. Johannes says Veli’s wife and everyone at home is devastated because the family has gone through a lot already. The wife still wants answers, losing three children all at once is a painful thing and no one deserves that kind of pain, Johannes says.
He says Veli’s wife held on and wanted to be strong so that she can bury her kids but this latest news broke her.
“Her current state is not good and being sent from pillar to post is also draining because we are told that he belongs to the state as there is a murder charge against him. We can’t make any arrangements for the funeral, we are waiting for the police to inform us on what to do with the corpse. That is another daunting process,” he says, breaking down.
He says thinking about this and what he is going through as a parent who’s just lost a son he hasn’t forgiven yet hurts.
“Talking about this whole thing breaks my heart and spirit. I just want this to pass and my daughter-in-law to get all the assistance she needs to deal with this because it is too much for her to take in.”
Brigadier Brenda Muridili issued a statement that read: “SAPS can confirm that Veli Samuel Ngcongwane, 39 year old, the father charged with the murder and attempted murder of his children following a poisoning incident died in hospital on 10 June 2022.”
Source – Drum
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