THE family of a Zimbabwean woman stepped in to stop her wedding moments before she exchanged vows after finding out her fella is an ex-con, New Zimbabwe.com can reveal.
With ‘Here Comes the Bride’ playing from a piano, guests at a church in London, England, were stunned when Sandra Siziba, 26, who was kitted in her wedding gown, was bundled into a car and whisked away in dramatic scenes.
Her family – including her mum, uncle and cousins – were unhappy that she was about to get hitched to convicted wife beater Joppah Ncube, 40, whom she had known for just three months after they were introduced in church.
Ncube – a lay preacher then – was spared jail by Southend magistrates in 2007 after admitting beating his partner, Moreblessing Giyane, for dressing provocatively and showing neighbours pictures of their two-year-old son.
Siziba’s family was also furious with the role played by Thelma Nkomo, a preacher at the small Rivers of Jordan Church which holds services in south-east London in rushing through the wedding plans.
Nkomo, the family claims, told Siziba and Ncube in an open church service that God had spoken to her and said the two must get married, and she set June 23 as the date for the nuptials.
Siziba’s uncle Ndaba Maphenduka Moyo said: “We returned from a family event in Africa late in April to be told Sandra will wed on June 23.
“We don’t know the guy, we didn’t understand the urgency. We spoke to our daughter but she was so set on having the wedding on that day that she began to see any questions we had on this man as an attack on her church.”
Some family members claim Siziba has been brainwashed.
A day after the ill-fated wedding, one of Siziba’s cousins said on Facebook: “God warned us to be aware of fake prophets who come in sheep clothing while they are wolves inwardly.
“A false prophet will claim to bring a message of truth but is actually telling lies. He/SHE can knowingly and purposefully deceive others. They are all over the place & #ThatIsAll.”
Siziba and Ncube had booked the Living Springs International Church in Forest Hill, London, for their big day on Saturday, June 23.
Guests had taken their seats in the church and Ncube stood in wait for his bride. Unbeknown to him and the guests, Siziba’s family had arrived and launched into a bitter war of words with Nkomo in another part of the building.
Moyo said: “We told Nkomo we were unhappy with everything, but we would allow the wedding to proceed if she left, but she insisted on taking charge of the proceedings.
“At that point we had some people holding the door shut to the church hall to prevent the bride from going in, and there were individuals from Nkomo’s church who were trying to open it.
“It was degenerating into a physical confrontation and the owners of the church stepped in and said they were uncomfortable providing their hall if the mother of the bride was unhappy.”
A witness told New Zimbabwe.com Siziba was “in tears” as she watched the unfolding events.
“She was literally shaking. Weddings are supposed to be perfect days, the happiest a woman will ever be, but hers was turning into a living nightmare.”
The witness told how some relatives led Siziba out of the church, helped her into a car and drove off.
As news of the dramatic events filtered back into the church hall, shocked guests began walking out while talking in low tones, trying to make sense of what had just happened.
A spokesman for the Living Springs International Church said: “I can confirm that our church hall was booked for a wedding on June 23. Sadly, the wedding could not go ahead following a misunderstanding.
“I cannot discuss why the wedding was cancelled, you can ask the couple. We had nothing to do with this event other than hiring out a hall.”
Siziba declined our invitation to discuss her cancelled wedding. We were unsuccessful in obtaining a comment from Ncube either.
Nkomo refused to discuss her alleged prophecy which set the stage for the wedding. She threatened our reporter and vowed everyone who had a hand in the wedding’s cancellation would “go down”.
“Uzangena phakathi komlilo ongawaziyo [you will walk into a fire that you have no idea about],” she said.
“People must not tamper with God. Those who are lying against me are lying against God. You have some people who are spreading false information because they were jealous of this wedding. I praise a living God, they will know that he is alive, God will fight for me,” she thundered.
She said she was “ready to fight”, adding: “I have been in this ministry for nine years as pastor, a bishop ordained by god. They will all go down for this.”
Asked to clarify her comments, she explained: “I am not saying they will die, they will go to prison.”