Murdered doctor remembered as a kind-hearted soul dedicated to child healthcare

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Having suffered from childhood asthma, local paediatrician Dr Zamambo Siphokazi Mkhize had dedicated her life to helping children. Families across the city this week paid tribute to the kind-hearted doctor who was murdered on Friday night.

Imbali resident Andile Dlamini said Mkhize who was a “kind-hearted soul” who had helped save the life of her four-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with pneumonia last year.

“Dr Mkhize took her time interacting with my baby and, at first, my child was uneasy because of her previous hospital experiences and needles at clinics, but the doctor made her relax until the last moment.

“She diagnosed her with pneumonia, but through all that, Mkhize made me understand that I am the one who should be strong for my child,” said Dlamini.

Mkhize’s brother, Ntozonke, described his sister as a soft-spoken and gentle soul.

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“She was a kind-hearted, loving, driven and ambitious, hard-working woman. My sister had unwavering faith in Christ and was family-orientated. The desire to help people and to have an impact on the healthcare system and people’s accessibility to healthcare inspired her to go into medicine. Childhood care became important to her, as she had suffered from severe asthma as a child,” said Ntozonke.

The mother of two, a daughter aged two and a son aged five, Mkhize matriculated from Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High in 2003 and went to the University of Cape Town, where she studied towards her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) before enrolling with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) to specialise in paediatrics.

Ntozonke said his sister drew her strength from her faith and her family.

Coming from a family of ambitious and driven entrepreneurs, she had a lot of exemplary people around her. She was the granddaughter of the influential business owners, Mr and Mrs BC Mkhize of Mjambo Diamond Butchery Group. Her parents were also in property development and were also inspirational to her.

Ntozoke said the family was “barely coping”.

Mkhize’s body was found stuffed into the boot of her car in Imbali J-Section on Friday afternoon.

Imbali J residents and area councillor believe that local paediatrician Dr Zamambo Siphokazi Mkhize was murdered in a different location and her car and body were dumped in Imbali on Friday evening.

A resident, who asked not to be named, said the vehicle was dumped in the area around 5 pm.

At around 9 pm, I left home for a night vigil and I saw the police cars next to the car that had been parked there earlier in the afternoon.

“I did not end up going to that night vigil because the mood changes once you see the police. I was shocked when I heard that there was a dead person in the boot of the car. Crime in this area is returning, but in this incident I believe the criminals killed her somewhere and dumped the car here,” said the resident.

Ward 16 councillor Bhekabantu Zuma said information about the incident was sketchy.

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“People are saying the car was parked and people disembarked and left it there. This is a horrific way of losing a person of this calibre to heartless criminals.

“We hope that the police will pull all the stops to arrest the perpetrators,” said Zuma.

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