MEC Mchunu told of stock theft and torture in Pomeroy area

2012-08-29 00:00

THE chair of the community policing forum at Mahlaba, Pomeroy, where nine men were killed recently, said it may be true there is stolen livestock hidden in the area.

Thengamehlo Buthelezi was speaking at a community meeting with the Community Safety and Liaison Department yesterday.

He said they were on the boundary of Nquthu and Msinga and the area was bushy. “Criminals are using this place as a hideout for stock theft.

“In most incidents we recover the stock and return them to the owner,” said Buthelezi.

Nine men from Mthaleni were killed while looking for their stolen cattle in the area.

A widow and mother of seven children, Khanyisile Ndebele, moved people to tears when she told how her husband, Mjabuliswa Ndebele (47), died.

She said her husband was tortured by isikebhe vigilantes.

“The isikebhe came to my house in January at night. They beat him up and accused him of stealing their cattle, though they didn’t find them. Then they took him with them.”

When she reported this to police, she said, they told her not to worry. A day later her husband returned badly injured. He told his wife he had been tortured on his private parts with pliers.

Umzinyathi District Mayor James Mthethwa said that if police had acted in January, the murders could have been prevented.

If the isikebhe were a recognised body, he added, the police should accompany them on the raids.

MEC Willies Mchunu said the meeting had given him a bigger picture of what was happening in ­Mahlaba and Mthaleni and his team would investigate.

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