Lobola feud: 11 arrested over killings of 16 people

2019-04-02 14:43
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

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Eleven people are behind bars and more arrests are expected after a drawn-out family feud over lobola that left 16 people dead in its wake in the Eastern Cape, according to media reports. 

Sunday World reported that the Mantywaki and Genuka families were joined through marriage seven years ago. But Peliwe Mantywaki was reportedly sent back to her family after "failing to bear children".

Peter Genuka, her estranged husband, then reportedly demanded the return of cows paid as lobola in 2016. 

Nine men were reportedly sent to collect the cattle. Five were hacked to death and had their genitals cut off. One victim was reportedly decapitated and his brain was removed.

Since then, the villages of Bizana have been rocked by violence and intimidation between warring villages of Qungebe and KwaZulu, which fall into Mkhandlweni and Ntamonte areas, The Star reported

Read: "My ex fiancé wants his lobola back, but my family no longer has the money"

According to that publication, people from the town of Flagstaff, 60km away, have been recruited to join in the bloodshed, which has seen men, both young and old, fleeing their homes to seek safety on the mountains at night.

The death toll following separate incidents now stands at 16, Sunday Times reported

One of the victims was Jackford Mdubeki, who was stabbed to death outside his home in Qungebe in January last year, reportedly because he called for a truce.

In the same village, Oko Majikija, 19, and Simbonile Nkise, 28, were murdered while listening to music in a rondavel in October last year. A third man escaped with minor injuries while a fourth friend was paralysed by spears to his genitals and gunshot wounds, The Star reported. The two survivors have reportedly been moved from the village for their protection.

Lindani Nongqayi was killed in March last year, Sunday Times reported. He had been part of the delegation that delivered the lobola cattle to the Mantywaki family in KwaZulu village.

Mbizana police spokesperson Warrant Officer Zilungile Nkamba told Sunday World the suspects were arrested last week.

"We can confirm that 11 suspects have been arrested by police and they are expected in court this coming Thursday. The suspects did make a brief appearance last week," she reportedly said.

"The police team dedicated for these cases has worked around the clock to make sure that those who are allegedly involved are arrested. We can also confirm that firearms were confiscated, together with ammunition," said Nkamba.

The suspects will reportedly be charged with murder when they appear in court on Thursday. 

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