Residents burn suspects house

2019-09-05 06:01

Disgruntled I Section residents, in Khayelitsha, torched the house of the man who is suspected to have brutally killed the University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana (19).

It is alleged that they burned down the house on Tuesday 3 September after a community meeting in their neighbourhood. The suspect, who stayed in the area, was arrested last week after he led the police to a place where he hid the body at Lingelethu West. Uyinene disappeared more than two weeks ago and was last seen at the Claremont post pffice. She lived at Roscommon House in Main Road, Claremont, a student residence leased by UCT.

Her death has caused a massive uproar and I section residents showed their anger by burning down the suspect’s house.

Ward 94 councillor Patrick Mngxunyeni said he was informed by the area committee that angry residents were burning down the house. He said on Monday 2 September he received a call from the area committee informing him that the police and forensic officers were digging inside the suspect’s yard. He said he called the Lingelethu police officers who told him they were looking for the remains of the student.

“They told me that they received a lead that some of her remains were buried there,” he stated.

The committee requested me to come to a general meeting the following day to report back to the community.

“On Tuesday evening I went to a meeting and told them what the police told me. As I finished the report some residents started shouting and threatened to go and vandalise the house,” he said.

Mngxunyeni added that together with the community leaders he tried to stop them to not go to the house and warned that they might destroy some of the evidence to assist the police. “Because the meeting started to become chaotic I decided to leave. A few minutes later I received a call informing me the house is on fire,” he said.

Chairperson of the residents’ committee Monwabisi Ndwalaza urged the residents to allow the law to take its course. “As a community, we are very shocked and disappointed by his deeds. We want justice to prevail,” he said.

Ndwalaza reiterated Mngxunyeni’s sentiments that they tried to calm down the residents but failed. He said they understand the resident’s perspective but they must respect the law. Ndwalaza described the perpetrator as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. “He was quiet. He didn’t have friends and was always indoors,” he said.

Lingelethu West police station communications officer Sgt Xoliswa Nyalambisa confirmed the incident and said no arrest has been made yet. “A case of arson was opened. No one was injured. The house was empty and there was no furniture,” said Nyalambisa adding that the police are still investigating. She emphasised that there were no remains of the woman found inside the house.

The suspect remains in custody and will appear again in Wynberg magistrate’s court on the 5 November.

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