Trevor Noah's hell at home

2012-03-04 11:36
Loyiso Sidimba, City Press
Johannesburg - Trevor Noah’s stepfather made his family’s life a living nightmare, forcing the comedian to turn his back on his mother, whose suffering he could no longer bear to witness.

And when the funnyman finally confronted his former stepfather after he shot his mother repeatedly and left her for dead, Ngisaveni Shingange threatened to kill him.

The startling claims are contained in papers before the high court in Johannesburg, where Shingange applied to have his divorce from Nombuyiselo Noah rescinded.

On Thursday, Shingange’s house will be auctioned to cover his ex-wife’s legal costs, which he has been ordered to pay. And later this week, he will be sentenced in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court, where he was found guilty of attempting to kill her.

In court papers, Nombuyiselo Noah, 52, an estate agent, tells of years of abuse at Shingange’s hands. She divorced him in 1996, but they continued to live together in the Johannesburg suburb of Highlands North. In 2003, she says she was forced to move into a backyard shack on the property with her 15-month-old son, where they lived for seven years.

Too much for him

Nombuyiselo Noah says Trevor stopped visiting her at this time because it was too much for him to see his mother going through hell.

In court papers, she said her former husband beat her with old bicycle frames in public and in front of her staff, slapped her, chased her down the street as she fled with their youngest child, and smashed phones and furniture.

Moving away in 2009, after she became engaged to her current husband, Sfiso Khoza, almost cost her her life. She says Shingange tracked her down and shot her in the back and face, shattering her jaw, piercing her skull, nose and ear, and leaving her unable to speak properly.

Minutes before she was shot, Nombuyiselo said her youngest son, then about seven, pleaded with his father to stop, saying: “Daddy, please do not shoot mommy!” But his pleas fell on deaf ears.

After the shooting, when Trevor Noah phoned his former stepfather to remonstrate with him, “Shingange advised Trevor that he was also coming after Trevor to kill him”.

Wants her back

Two months after the shooting, Nombuyiselo said in court papers that her ex-husband spread false rumours, reported in newspapers, that she ran slums in hijacked buildings in inner-city Johannesburg.

In January, Trevor Noah appeared on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show, a first for a South African comedian, and is now based in Los Angeles. His agent, Gaenor Becker, said her client would not comment on his personal life.

Shingange claimed that he only became aware that his wife had divorced him in October 2009 and he went to court to ask for it to be reversed.

Aside from almost killing his ex-wife, Shingange also fired several shots at her husband, Khoza, whom she married in July 2009. Trevor paid her private hospital bills and she says she was treated under a different name because she feared Shingange would go there to “finish the job”.

In responding papers, Shingange did not answer her shooting allegations. “I have been advised not to comment at this stage since the matter is sub judice,” he said.

Repeated attempts to contact Shingange through his lawyer, Lord Mataboge, were unsuccessful.


  • Adair - 2012-03-04 11:56

    Why is this maniac not in Jail?

      Terry-Lee Heuer - 2012-03-04 12:28

      My thoughts exactly oh well our Justice system sucks big time anyway!!

  • April Ncube Rudo - 2012-03-04 12:13

    this goes to show that journalists can be careless when dealing with celebrities. Trevors personal life may be a good read, but he is a lay man. his stepfathers criminal case has nothing to do with him. So much for living in the public eye.

      Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-03-04 12:23

      Exactly, they should just leave the guy alone to enjoy his hard earned success

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-04 15:09

      Troll alert

  • Hallo - 2012-03-04 12:34

    This is why we need the protection of information act.

      Fidel - 2012-03-04 14:07


  • Saki Pango - 2012-03-04 12:39

    i know that justic will take it's course but in the meantime this shingange thing supose to b in jail strait.

  • Karen Perks Woodward - 2012-03-04 14:05

    What an inspiration to children who have been in similar circumstances and feel that their future is hopeless! I hope I may use Trevor's story and that of his mother to prove that people can rise above things that hold them back and choose to make a success of themselves!

      John - 2012-03-04 16:43

      Congrats Karen.... Certainly more positive than the normal take on a story like this. Unfortunately being in the public domain you going to open yourself to stories such as these. Now if it was a politician, whose life we were talking, and not our favorite comedian, about I can guarantee the comments would have been very different.

  • Karmini Pillay - 2012-03-04 15:51

    Its sad that someones personal life is thrown for public scrutiny as soon as they get sum success.was it really necessary to air trevors life?does it make him any more funnier or does it have anything to do wth him being a comedian?sad really,I am really proud that he is a south african doing well out there, I expected sumone from america maybe to trash him.nt south african,we should b proud of him and back him up.

      johncarlos.biza - 2012-03-05 03:24

      I agree. I would have rather not known about this. This is just too close to one's heart to have it aired to the whole country to make money. Sad world, really.

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-03-04 19:05

    I agree that it is unfair to drag Trevor into this horror story; but the fact is that the more media attention a case gets, the more the Law seems to spark into action. There are a lot of similar stories in SA that are simply swept under the carpet. May he get what he deserves, the foul, utter waste of human flesh.

  • Mpho - 2012-03-04 21:19

    Yeah, South Africa (Sorry fellows, don't mean to generalize) does it again. What defines SA,violence. Any 1000 people march to departments of law,order and security, human rights?

  • zaphenolu - 2012-03-05 04:21

    think it was out of poor taste for this story to b published. the matter is far to senstive for all partys concerned

  • Ruth - 2012-03-05 09:38

    Easy hey, turn your back and all will be will, I don't think so!

  • buhle510 - 2012-03-05 20:30

    omg i just can imagine the pain travor is experiencing.... since i also grew up in an abusive home.

  • Lethibela Stee Moreki - 2015-07-04 11:18

    Keep up ur good work lol

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