‘My husband was innocent’

2016-12-13 10:28
Wife of slain traditional healer, Busisiwe Manqele grieves in their Merrivale home.

Wife of slain traditional healer, Busisiwe Manqele grieves in their Merrivale home. (Sabelo Nsele)

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Busisiwe Manqele, wife of slain traditional healer Mduduzi Manqele, did not know that she was stuck in a traffic jam as a result of a shooting that had claimed her husband’s life.

Manqele was one of nine members of a gang shot dead by police outside Howick on Saturday night.

Manqele was linked to the murder of 18-year-old Loyiso Jokweni, who was beheaded in France township, but the case against him collapsed in 2011 and he was later released.

It is believed Manqele supplied traditional medicine to the suspects apprehended on Saturday night, which would allegedly offer them invulnerability while carrying out their crimes.

Busisiwe Manqele said her husband was not involved in the commission of a crime. She said she had became anxious when she could not reach her husband on either of his two cellphones on Saturday night.

“The last time I had heard from him, was around 6 pm.

“At around 11 pm I decided to take a drive from our house in Merrivale [Howick] to see if he was in our Mafakatini home.

“While I was driving in Mpophomeni, the other drivers kept on flashing their lights on me. I thought there had been a car accident.

“When I saw police lights flashing, I put on my hazard lights to warn other road users.

“A police officer told me there had been an ATM bombing and that the road had been closed,” she said.

Manqele said she then drove back to her home in Merrivale. “The children told me that I was just stressing over nothing.

“Something kept on telling me something was wrong but then I decided to go to sleep at about 1 am on Sunday.

“When I woke up at about 6 am, I decided to call his cell again. At about 8 am I got the call from Induna Matiwane, who asked, ‘where is Induna Manqele’ and I told him he did not come home last night.

“He told me that he had heard people saying my husband was wounded in a shooting in Mpophomeni,” she said.

After going to few local police stations, Manqele said they later identified her husband in Napierville.

Manqele said she did not understand why her husband would use his bakkie, with personalised plates, if he was going to commit a crime. “His car is well known here. There are also cameras at ATMs.

“Police told me that they only found a wallet, bank cards and R2 000 in his car,” she said.

“What we are seeing in print media and social networks is very sad. I have young children who will be going back to school in January.

“How are they going to face the other children, knowing that their father has been described in this way?”

Meanwhile, Dolo Zondi, a member the Zondi family, the tribal leaders in the area, said Manqele had tarnished the Zondi chieftaincy.

“When he was put in power the community rebelled against him. Even when the court cleared him, the community kept on raising concerns about him,” Zondi said.

The media received a hostile reception at Manqele’s house on Monday, with his family first asking police to assist in getting reporters to leave before having a change of heart and inviting the press to conduct interviews. Outside Manqele’s Mafaka­tini home, where he owned a tuck shop and a bottle store, people went on with their daily business.

Most did not want to speak about the man whose appointment as induna they had protested four years ago.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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