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Murdered nurse Monene was ‘a loving soul’

The hustle and bustle outside Tembisa Hospital on Friday afternoon gave the impression that it was business as usual at the public health institution.

However, this could not be further from the truth, following the fatal shooting of one of its workers on Wednesday.

Just 20 minutes away from the hospital, the family of 31-year-old Lebohang Vinolia Monene is in shock as questions surrounding the untimely death of their daughter have haunted them since she was killed on the hospital’s premises.

At the entrance to the place Monene called home, white candles surrounded by flowers burn brightly in remembrance of the mother of two.

Her family has gathered “to comfort each other during this time”.

Among them is her father, 58-year-old Nicholas Monene, who describes his daughter as “a loving soul who only and always wanted the best for her children”.

Nicholas explained: She had two sons, a three year-old and a 10-year-old, who both live with my wife and I back home in Limpopo,

Having celebrated her 31st birthday on December 27, Monene had a bright future ahead of her in the medical field.

She was allegedly gunned down by her partner, a police officer, in the hospital’s parking lot.

The man, who arrived in a police car, allegedly shot Monene before turning the gun on himself. He was subsequently airlifted to Milpark Hospital as he was in critical condition.

“As elders of the family, we have never met him. I do not even know his name. We only knew he existed because Lebo fell pregnant and they have a child together. Beyond that, we know nothing about him except for the fact that he is a cop and the father of our grandchild,” an emotional Nicholas told City Press.

The distraught father made it clear to City Press that his daughter and her partner were “never married and never lived together”.

“Lebo was living with her sister in Ebony Park for some time. She then decided to move out and find her own place five months ago, as she was a grown woman and wanted her space as well,” he said.

“That is obviously where the guy would visit her and such. Three weeks back, she then came back to her sister’s place because he had begun threatening her and she feared for her life.”


Born and bred in Maruleng, a village in Limpopo, Monene, who, according to her father, had worked at Tembisa Hospital for six years, moved to Johannesburg more than eight years ago to attend nursing school.

“She moved here to attend nursing college at Thuto Bophelo Nursing Academy,” her father said.

“I would like to make it clear that I, as her father, was the one who paid her fees, not this man. I am clarifying this because other people might have the idea that this guy spent exorbitant amounts of money paying for her education and maybe that is why he killed my daughter. That is not the case. I paid for my child.”


As tears run down his face, Nicholas swats them away sombrely and tells City Press that not only should government be held accountable for his daughter’s death, but “the government needs to give us answers”.

“It hurts just talking about it because my child was so loving. I am so confused as to why someone, anyone, would want to hurt her. She did not deserve this.

“He [the alleged killer] used state resources for his heinous act and that gave him an advantage to do as he pleased by simply being allowed entrance into the hospital.So the state must take accountability. She was a government employee, killed by another government employee. How can the state just be let off the hook? Suffice it to say, the government is as responsible as he is. The state needs to provide answers.

This is a sentiment shared by Monene’s brother,41-year-old Daniel Thobakgale, who told City Press that Monene and her partner had been together for “about four years”.

“The cause of this tragedy is the fact that Lebo had decided she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him and left him, but he could not accept that. She left him three weeks ago. That is how long they had been separated. It is clear that the guy did not take it well,” said Thobakgale.

“The way we understand it, she spoke to some of her sisters about how he was abusive towards her. But, as we know, sometimes sisters have secrets of their own and it was never spoken about to the rest of the family. The unfortunate thing is that it never got to Lebo’s father and we later found out that, at some point, he even threatened her sisters with a gun.”

He revealed that, on his visit on Thursday to the mortuary where his sister’s body lies, the family had been informed that “she had been shot six times”.

Angrily, he said: “I do not know where he shot himself and I do not care, and I do not want to entertain it.”

Echoing Nicholas’ call for government to be held accountable, Thobakgale said: “The state needs to take responsibility for what happened. A person who works for government, who was in uniform, killed our sister. Therefore government needs to take responsibility.”

Even though Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi visited the family following Monene’s shooting, Thobakgale said it was disheartening that “the MEC of safety and security, or anyone from the police department, has not even attempted to reach out to us”.


For Monene’s older sister, Provia Ngoepe, with whom the deceased had been living while fearing for her life, “tears have become a norm”.

As her cries fill the air, the 36-year-old recalls the last time she spoke to her sister.

“She [Monene] left for work at about 6.20am, as she usually did. At around 7am she called me and asked that I set up the washing machine for her as she would be knocking off at 11am and wanted to do her laundry thereafter,” an inconsolable Ngoepe recalled.Those were the last words I heard from my sister: ‘Please set up the washing machine for me; I will knock off at 11am and will do laundry when I get home.

While Monene’s family members referred to her former partner as “this guy”, her younger brother, Mpho, told City Press that he knew the cop’s name.

. A memorial service will be held for Monene on Tuesday at the Tembisa Hospital auditorium.She will be laid to rest at her home in Maruleng on Saturday



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