Mafakathini leader says mob action is political

2011-02-02 00:00

A PEACEMAKING initiative involving residents of Mafakathini in Vulindlela,the police and the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, has failed to defuse the anger of community members over traditional healer Mduduzi Manqele.

A meeting was held yesterday in the area after Manqele was implicated in the butchering of 18-year-old Siyabonga Jokweni in France. The teenager’s head was found in a freezer in a house in France.

Mchunu went to the area after Manqele’s properties were looted and his house set alight on Saturday.

The situation became volatile in the huge packed marquee as community members pointed out that Inkosi Zondi had appointed Manqele as induna against their will.

In a statement read out to Mchunu and senior police officials present at the meeting, the community claimed that they had told Zondi they did not want Manqele in the area.

“Since his arrival in the area, dead bodies with missing parts have been found. In a number of areas where he had resided he was chased away because of his involvement in dealing with body parts.

“In December a local girl was found murdered and parts of her body parts were missing.

“Manqele offered R10 000 as contribution towards the burial without being asked to do so.

“Since Zondi is so close to Manqele, we no longer trust him too,” reads the statement.

A community member who asked not to be named said Zondi’s mistreatment of his own people in favour of Manqele has created anger within the community and that has led to the looting and burning of the house.

“Zondi therefore is responsible for the mess,” said the member.

Inkosi Zondi said the whole affair was politically motivated and that the Jokweni incident is being used by certain individuals to cause tension ahead of the local government elections.

“Only a court of law will judge Manqele, not me.

“I must say that the Inkatha Freedom Party has a huge following and our councillor is an IFP member. The IFP mob is doing this because they are saying I’m ANC and Manqele is also ANC,” said Zondi.

Area councillor Zwelinjani Magubane said Manqele has been chased away from Emashingeni and Mpendle for being implicated in dealing with body parts.

“The community wants Zondi and the police to demolish everything that belongs to Manqele, and his family should not set foot in the area.

“They don’t want to be reminded of what Manqele has done to the community,” said Magubane.

MEC Mchunu has called for calm in the area as the matter has gone to court, and that people should not interfere with the police investigation.

He assured Manqele’s daughters that they will get police protection and they were given phone numbers to use whenever they see something suspicious.

Their Howick home will be under police protection.

 

THERE is no grave in the underground room at traditional healer Mduduzi Manqele’s house, said Manqele’s daughter, Qini, yesterday.

Qini and her younger sister, Nontobeko, invited reporters to go underground with them in the company of police officers.

The police were reluctant to go into the two-metre-deep underground room, which the daughters claim their father used for consultations with his patients.

“My father is a healer, not a killer. People would come to him to seek wealth, love portions, to bring home gallivanting husbands and boyfriends and for many other reasons, said Qini.

The room is dark and there are traditional medicines in certain positions. There is a fireplace at one end with a chimney.

The girls pointed to a stocky cement tombstone at the end of the room next to the chimney and suitcases packed next to it.

“This is what they say is a grave. If it is, then why are the police not digging to see what is buried here?

“This is just a tombstone and only my father can explain its significance for his traditional healing. These bags and suitcases are for those who came to seek wealth. How they go about generating it I don’t know,” she said.

She pointed to an area enclosed with a wire mesh. She said men and women came to her father with relationship problems and he would ask them to bring photographs or any dirty garment belonging to the other partner.

“Those photos would be lined up against that net by ubaba [referring to the snake which was kept in the enclosure].

“It’s surprising to hear in newspapers that the photos were of targeted men to be killed by my father. This tombstone is not even cemented into position. You just push it and it falls,” she explained.

Deputy provincial police commissioner Major-General Bongani Ntanjana said forensic experts will inspect the burnt-out house.

“Sniffer dogs were set loose in the property but no human parts were found,” said Ntanjana.

“Due to the hostility in the area police will be deployed in the area to keep order and secure the scene.”

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