Houses burnt, victims assaulted

2016-10-28 06:00

NTOMBEKHAYA Mdingane and her sons Lindithemba Nondabula and Sisa Nondabula are hiding­ at an unidentified place for safety reasons following an attack by community members of Empiphany village on 20 October.

Community members are accusing Mdingane and her sons of killing her husband in April.

According to police information Mdingane’s husband was found dead, allegedly killed by his two sons, who were arrested and released on bail.
Ntombekhaya left the village after burying her husband when she was threatened by community members.

In August she returned to the village, but community members told her to leave, and she refused.

Last Thursday, angry villagers gathered at her home to discuss her return, but were so angry they burnt her three houses.

“I was assaulted with sticks and fork spades and so were my children. I am lucky to be alive and am traumatised about what happened to me,” said Ntombekhaya.

She and her sons spent two days in hospital getting treatment for their wounds.

Community chief, Zanokhanyo Ludidi condemns the attack and says Ntombekhaya was warned many times to leave the area for safety reasons, but she ignored the warnings.

“People don’t want Ntombekhaya to live in the area and police were told to take her away from the village for her own safety, and people got angry when they saw her living in the village after the warnings,” said Ludidi.

Police spokesperson Raphael Motloung said two community members, aged 63 and 76, were arrested and charged with arson, attempted murder and assault with grievously bodily harm (see update below).

“The case is being investigated by Lukholweni Police Station and the SAPS and SANDF are patrolling the area to make sure that no one is harmed.”

The suspects appeared in court on Monday, and were remanded for bail application next Monday.

Ntombekhaya told Fever she hopes the suspects get a heavy sentence.
“I have lost three houses, furniture and everything. I now have to start a new life.”
Update: Nine community members, aged between 35 and 76, were arrested this week and charged with arson and attempted murder.
Now 11 people will appear at Maluti Magistrate’s Court on Monday - four women and seven men.

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