Neighbours don't remember 'white widow'

2013-09-26 08:07
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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2013-09-26 08:52

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Johannesburg - Residents of the Johannesburg neighbourhoods where a British woman thought to be linked to the Nairobi mall attacks is believed to have rented properties, say they do not remember having seen her.

eNCA reported on Wednesday that Samantha Lewthwaite, 29, used a fake South African identity with the alias Natalie Faye Webb to take out bank loans and rent at least three properties, running up debts of R183 000.

Lewthwaite – a Muslim convert – has been nicknamed the "White Widow" because her husband Germaine Lindsay was one of the four suicide bombers who attacked the London transport network in July 2005, killing 52 people.

She is wanted by Kenyan police for alleged involvement in a separate terror plot, and is believed to have entered Kenya from Tanzania in February and August 2011 using a South African passport in the name of Webb.

Regularly travels to SA

A local terror expert and academic said earlier this week that she regularly travels to South Africa and stayed in suburbs of Johannesburg earlier this year.

It is unclear if she lived at any of the premises. According to credit records released by eNCA, she was listed as living in the city's neighbourhood of Mayfair for four years.

However residents either denied Lewthwaite had lived at the cited addresses, or could not remember having seen her.

Close to a bustling street with shops where women dressed in headscarves walked with their children, the structure of a new building now stands in the yard where two houses were demolished over a year ago.

"I have not seen her here before," said a neighbour who has lived across the road for seven years, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A man who identified himself only as Junaid, and said he was redeveloping the property - bought from a 65-year-old owner two years ago - denied an English woman had lived there.

On the other side of the city in the leafy suburb of Bromhof, neighbours who have lived since 2008 across the road from the house Lewthwaite was said to have rented, also could not recall her living there.

Read more on:    samantha lewthwaite  |  kenya  |  johannesburg  |  security  |  kenya mall attack

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