Acid attack: Family seek answers for woman’s death, police call for help

2013-01-26 00:00

AS the family of a woman who died after a colleague allegedly poured acid over her seek answers on why she was murdered, police are looking for others who may have been splashed with acid in the incident.

The 33-year-old woman who was arrested for the acid attack will be standing trial in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court.

Ntombi Mkhize, of KwaPata, is alleged to have followed Smangele Mlaba in broad daylight as she walked along Pietermaritz Street on Monday last week.

She confronted her and they started arguing, before she flung acid onto Mlaba.

Both worked at Miguel’s Bakery and it’s believed that the argument had begun at work.

Zodwa Mthalane, a friend of Mlaba’s, told Weekend Witness that she had visited Mlaba in hospital on Tuesday.

“She was so burnt, you could not recognise her. That picture is still in my mind. I want to see the law take its course.”

Mlaba’s cousin Nokulunga Mlaba said she can’t describe the pain the family feels.

“We still need answers. She died in pain even though she was one of the strongest members of the family,” she said.

“Seeing her in the hospital bed broke my heart. Her daughter is doing matric this year.”

According to police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan, the chemical caused severe burns to Mlaba’s face and upper body.

She was rushed to Edendale Hospital by ambulance, but died the following day.

Police are looking for other victims of the attack and witnesses to contact the investigating officer.

“It’s believed that the acid that was thrown on the victim may have also burnt other people at the time,” said Jeevan.

“Those people are also requested to urgently contact police.”

She said they can contact investigating officer Sergeant Rajeev Soorajbally at 033 845 2751 or 082 563 2172.

Mkhize appeared in the district court yesterday, when the matter was transferred to the regional court. She was remanded and will be back in court on Monday to apply for a Legal Aid attorney.

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