They died in front of me – mother of poisoned boys finally speaks out

“I don’t even know how I feel,” Ntswaki tells YOU, speaking from her home in Ratanda township in Heidelberg, Gauteng. “It’s like a terrible dream.”

Veli (40) tried to take his life after his sons’ deaths. He’s now facing charges of murder and attempted murder while Ntswaki battles to make sense of it all.

She’s known her husband for 17 years and there was no sign he would do something like this, she says. The couple were thinking of legally changing the four elder children’s last names to Ngcongwane since they were born before they were married. They never got around to it before the unthinkable happened.

“I still can’t believe he did this,” Ntswaki says. “I really don’t know how I feel about all of it. I wish I could ask him why. He loved his children very much. So, I ask myself how this happened.”



Ntswaki was particularly close to her eldest son, Lehlohonolo, or Hloni as she calls him. She describes the teenager as a homebody. “Hloni was my friend. We did everything together,” she says, struggling to hold back her tears. “He’d sit in the house and play a soccer game on his phone.”

Katleho was also a football fan. “He loved soccer. He was part of a soccer team and he’d play on weekends. Katleho and Hloni were big Sundowns fans.”

Her youngest, Teboho, was a mischievous little boy. “He’d chase Thato around the house. I’m going to miss all the noise they made, their laughter. It’s going to be very quiet now,” she says.

The heartbroken mom is trying to come to terms with the deaths of her boys. “I ask God why my children? Why do I have to go through this pain? But only He knows.”