Nicholas Lungisa Ncama
is a South African serial killer who was convicted in 1997 of 3
murders and sentenced to life in prison. His victims all came from
the Port Elizabeth area of the Eastern Cape.
Ncama raped and strangled his victims, some of whom were or were
related to notable personalities in the Eastern Cape. His first
victim was a local police woman, Constable Luyanda Ngcizela (21)
whom he strangled with electrical wire. Her body was found by a bus
stop in Empa, near to Mthatha on the 28th of May 1997.
Ncama went on to murder provincial legislature secretary Nompumelelo
Mpushe (26) on the 1st of June 1997. Her body was found near Fort
Jackson. His next victim was Cynthia Ndlaku, the wife of a Port
Elizabeth Methodist minister followed by Prasella Dayal (41), and
her daughter, Rishmi (5) both of East London. His last murder was
that of his step-daughter Sonia Zinto (15) whom he raped and
strangled and left semi-naked in an empty room in KwaZakhele in
Ncama was arrested in November 1997, but succeeded in escaping from
police custody on the 3rd of April 1998. Ncama a martial arts
enthusiast had been directing police to various criminal exhibits in
a house when he escaped.
He was sentenced in Grahamstown on the 17th of December 1998 to life
imprisonment + an effective 42 years in jail. Ncama was ultimately
convicted on 3 counts of murder (Ngcizela, Mpushe & Zanto), 1 count
of rape, 1 count of indecent assault (Zanto) and 1 count of
Nicholas Lungisa Ncama
On April 4, 1998, South African alleged serial killer Nicholas
Lungisa Ncama escaped from police custody. Nick, age 29, was
arrested in November, 1997, after a three-month police hunt in
connection with several murders around Port Elizabeth.
alleged to have murdered 15-year-old Sonia Zanto of KwaMagxaki,
whose semi-naked body was found in an empty room in KwaZakhele
His second alleged victim -- killed in September -- was the wife
of a Port Elizabeth Methodist minister, Cynthia Ndlaku.
has also been linked to the deaths of provincial legislature
secretary Nompumelelo Mpushe, whose body was found near Fort
Jackson; Prasella Dayal (41) and her 5-year-old daughter Rishmi,
both of East London, and a policewoman, Constable Gloria
Ngcizela, whose body was found at a bus stop at Empa near Umtata
Ncama gets life term
for rape, three murders
December 18, 1998
GRAHAMSTOWN -- Convicted serial killer and
rapist Nicholas Ncama, 30, of Port Elizabeth, was given a life
sentence plus an effective term of 42 years' jail by the high
court here yesterday.
He was found guilty on three counts of murder,
one each of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault.
Leave to appeal against the life sentence and
one of the sentences for murder and another of rape was granted.
Ncama was given the life sentence for the murder and indecent
assault of his 15-year-old step-daughter, Sonia Zanto.
Judge Lex Mpati said the circumstances of her
killing and subsequent sexual assault "were despicable" and this
was a case where the court could show "little or no mercy".
"She loved and trusted you as her father and
you lured her into a flat and mercilessly strangled her to death
after sexually abusing her. I cannot but imagine her pleas for
mercy as you tightened the rope around her neck.
"Even if she could not cry out because of the
constriction the plea would have been in her eyes -- looking
directly at you as you slowly killed her. In my view you are a
danger and threat to society."
Ncama drew 10 years for the rape and two 20-year
terms for two counts of murder and four years for attempted
rape. He was also sentenced to three years on three counts of
Two of the four years for attempted rape will
run concurrently with the ten years for rape, as will 12 months
for the charge of theft. Ten years on the second murder count
will run concurrently with the first murder sentence, as will
two years imposed for two counts of theft.
This gives an effective prison sentence of 42
years on top of the life sentence.
Ncama, who has shown no remorse for any of
his crimes except for the killing of his step-daughter, stood
with his head bowed as he was sentenced. He did not display any
of the bizarre behaviour that he had when convicted. Then he
went berserk and had to be restrained by court orderlies.
The serial killer was sentenced to two terms
of 20 years in prison for the murders of an Umtata policewoman,
Ms Luyanda Nguzela, 21, on May 28 last year, and of a Bisho
secretary, Ms Nompumelelo Mpushe, 26, four days later.
In dealing with the rape sentence. Judge
Mpati said: "Rape is a very serious offence, constituting as it
does the brutal humiliating invasion of the privacy and dignity
of another person.
"Women are entitled to their rights and the
court has a very clear duty to ensure that protection and we
shall show no mercy to those who seek to invade those rights."
Villagers help catch serial
By Denver Donian -
Tuesday, April 7, 1998
KING WILLIAM'S TOWN -- Quick
police action and community support resulted in the recapture of
alleged serial killer Nicholas Lungisa Ncama, 29, late yesterday
Ncama escaped from custody on
Friday night while with investigating officer Inspector Tommie
Jafta, of the Port Elizabeth murder and robbery unit, who was
following up further leads in the Debe Nek area.
Police launched an immediate
search which continued through the weekend and yesterday.
The station commissioner here,
Senior Superintendent Garry Neuwenhuis, said Insp Jafta received
information yesterday from the Lungisa community that Ncama had
been spotted in the area.
Insp Anthony Belling and
Sergeant Benson Booi of the dog unit, with Sgt Hector Barnes of
the detective branch, raced to the township. They saw a man
running from dense bush up a hill towards the main road to Alice
Insp Jafta and Sgt Barnes
chased the man on foot for about a kilometre while the two dog
unit members circled towards the road to cut off his escape. As
they closed in on Ncama, community members ran towards where he
was hiding to assist police. Once cornered, Ncama surrendered.
Supt Neuwenhuis said Ncama now
faced an additional charge of escaping from custody along with
several murder charges.
Ncama was last night under
close police guard at the King William's Town police station.
Today he will be taken back to Port Elizabeth where he will
appear in court shortly.
Supt Neuwenhuis said Insp
Jafta would discuss with the head of the detective branch in
Port Elizabeth the matter of paying out the R20 000 reward
offered for Ncama's rearrest.
Serial killer suspect in court
By Stan Mzimba - Dispatch.co.za
Tuesday, December 9, 1997
UMTATA -- Suspected serial killer Nicholas
Lungisa Ncama, 29, appeared briefly in the district court here
yesterday in connection with the death of a Bisho-based
policewoman in May.
Wearing heavy legirons, Mr Ncama was not
asked to plead and magistrate L Madikizela remanded him in
custody until January 7.
Constable Luyanda Ngcizela, 21, was found
dead at a bus stop at Empa near Umtata on May 28.
A piece of electric wire was tied around her
Mr Ncama has been linked to five other
murders in East London, Bisho and King William's Town.
He appeared in the Port Elizabeth
Magistrate's Court last week and is due to appear in the East
London court soon on other charges.
Investigating officer Sergeant Loyiso Mdingi,
of the Umtata murder and robbery unit, said yesterday that Const
Ngcizela's service pistol had been recovered.
Mr Ncama took police to the scene where the
policewoman was killed, he said.
The charges against Mr Ncama have shocked his
family, according to a relative who said at one stage he had
studied for the ministry in KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth.
According to the relative, Mr Ncama's wife is
a teacher at Elliotdale.