Neighbours burn one another’s houses over land

2009-11-19 00:00

A LAND dispute between neighbours in Willowfountain in Imbali on Sunday allegedly led them to burn down one another’s houses.

The two laid charges against one another and were both arrested and charged with arson.

For the past three years, the Ngcobo and Ngxabi families have been squabbling over a piece of land and how it should be fenced. The Ngxabi family believed the Ngcobos’ fence was encroaching on their property.

Letha Ngxabi, the complainant in the first case and the accused in the second, said the simmering tension finally exploded on Saturday when the Ngcobos had her husband arrested on a “bogus charge”. She alleged they tried to kill her and her children.

She said that in the early hours of Sunday morning, she and her family were attacked, allegedly by her neighbours.

“I heard them coming … They started kicking down the doors and debating whether I should be killed. Moments later I heard them leave and then saw there was … smoke coming from inside the house … that was when I realised my home was on fire. I and my children managed to run out of the house before it was engulfed by the fire.”

She said that on Monday, when she went to see her husband, she was arrested and charged with arson.

The neighbour, Jabulile Ngcobo, confirmed there is a dispute over the ownership of the land. She said “the dispute between us was the cause of the two houses being burnt”.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan confirmed that the two neighbours were arrested on Sunday and Monday respectively and were charged with arson. They have appeared in court and were released on bail.

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