Couple’s killing: 14 arrested

2012-01-13 00:00

MEMBERS of the local community policing forum (CPF) are reportedly among the 14 suspects arrested in connection with the murder of an elderly Lindelani couple, near Ntuzuma outside Durban, on Wednesday night.

Rafael Dubazane (66) and his wife Elsa Dubazane (60) were attacked at their house in Lindelani, which was set alight with them inside by angry community members who accused them of practising witchcraft.

Local councillor Mbuyiselwa Sibiya confirmed in an interview with The Witness yesterday that members of the local CPF were among those arrested. Five of those arrested are women.

“I can confirm that there are CPF members among those arrested, but I don’t know what their role in the attack was,” Sibiya said.

Sources within the area, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said that, prior to the attack on Wednesday evening, a woman member of the CPF was seen going around blowing a whistle allegedly mobilising the local community for the attack.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane could not confirm that CPF members were among those implicated in the attack.

Zwane said Elsa’s charred body was found inside her burnt bedroom, while her husband’s was found on the road next to the house following the attack.

The couple were also assaulted during a mob attack last Friday. The mob accused them of witchcraft and secretly burying their grand-daughter, Zakude (16) who died mysteriously after being sjambokked by her father.

Zwane said that Ntuzuma detectives immediately began investigations after the couple’s murder, and identified fourteen community members as possible suspects.

“During the early hours of this morning [yesterday] the fourteen, aged between 18 and 40, were arrested by the police and are still being questioned.

“We need to emphasise that any form of vigilantism will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be arrested, prosecuted and sent to prison. We will effectively investigate this case and further arrests of the perpetrators is imminent,” Zwane said.

He said an inquest docket had been registered to investigate the death of Zakude, who died at Mahatma Ghandhi Hospital in Phoenix after allegedly after overdosing on her grandfather’s medication.

Sibiya said that he had spoken to police after the attack on the couple last Friday to increase their patrols around their house.

“Although we have a good working relationship with the local police, I believe that this incident would have not occurred if the Dubazane family was provided with protection.

“We thought the situation had cooled-off after we had told the angry community members to address their concerns about the family to the police. We really did not expect this. It took us by surprise,” Sibiya said.

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