The family of the late renowned playwright, musician, and producer Mbongeni Ngema has strongly refuted claims made by Yolanda “Wanda” Moncho, asserting that she is his second wife.
Ngema, publicly married to Nompumelelo Gumede-Ngema, tragically passed away in a car crash involving a truck on the R61 in the Mbizana area of the Eastern Cape on December 27.
Mbongeni Ngema’s brother, Nhlanhla Ngema, spoke to the Daily News before the funeral, expressing the family’s ignorance regarding any marriage between Ngema and Moncho. According to Nhlanhla, the family had only heard about Moncho as someone managing his brother’s work. He stated, “For now, we are focusing on burying my brother, so we will deal with other things after the funeral.”
The response came after Moncho, claiming to be Ngema’s customary wife, threatened to interdict the government from organizing the world-famous musician’s burial. Moncho further asserted that she is four months pregnant with the late 68-year-old’s child. In a letter addressed to various government offices, including the KwaZulu-Natal premier, the president of South Africa, and the KZN police commissioner, Moncho sought to assert her marital status and rights.
Despite Moncho’s claims, Nhlanhla Ngema emphasized that the family was unaware of any marriage, treating Moncho’s assertions with skepticism. He mentioned that they were currently focused on the funeral proceedings and would address other matters after laying Ngema to rest.
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In the midst of this controversy, Moncho had written to the office of KwaZulu-Natal premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who accorded Ngema a provincial funeral at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban. Moncho’s letter also targeted several other government officials, seeking acknowledgment of her purported marital status.
When questioned about responses from government officials, Moncho cited being unwell and unable to check or find out. The unfolding events add a layer of complexity to the aftermath of Mbongeni Ngema’s passing, as legal and familial disputes emerge, leaving many uncertain about the true nature of Ngema’s relationships and the potential impact on his legacy.
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