2 in dock for allegedly attacking and setting alight mentally ill Soweto woman

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Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • Two men have appeared in court for allegedly killing a mentally ill woman accused of witchcraft.
  • Jostina Sangweni, 59, was attacked and set alight on 26 March at a house in Mapetla, Soweto.
  • Days later, she succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

Two Soweto men allegedly linked to a mob that brutally killed a mentally ill Soweto woman accused of witchcraft appeared in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Monday on a charge of murder. 

Taelo Dipholo, 28, and Collen Sello 27, stand accused of killing Jostina Sangweni, 59, who was allegedly attacked and set alight by residents following accusations that she was a witch.

It is alleged she was attacked for wearing a traditional healer's attire. 

In a video, Sangweni is seen seated in a garage next to a vehicle while insults are hurled at her. She also accused of witchcraft.

The two suspects were arrested on Saturday after the video of the horrific incident went viral and caused an uproar.

READ | Mentally ill Soweto woman accused of witchcraft dies after being set alight

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters earlier said Sangweni was reported missing at the Moroka police station by her family on 26 March.

While there, police received information of a mob justice incident taking place in Mabalane Street, Mapetla, Soweto.

Police officers and Sangweni's family drove to the place and found an injured Sangweni.

"Sangweni was rescued and rushed to hospital for medical attention but sadly passed away on 5 April," Peters said.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said it was working closely with the police to guide the ongoing investigation into her death, and the possibility of more arrests could not be ruled out.

Dipholo and Sello are expected back in court on 20 April.

Their case was postponed for them to obtain legal representation from Legal Aid South Africa.


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