Man arrested after mob assaults, drowns gran suspected of witchcraft

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File photo - A man was arrested for allegedly killing and burning the body of an elderly woman.
File photo - A man was arrested for allegedly killing and burning the body of an elderly woman.
Sandile Ndlovu, Gallo Images, Sowetan

A man arrested in connection with a mob justice attack on an 83-year-old woman suspected of witchcraft, is expected to appear in an Eastern Cape court soon.

The alleged vigilante attack took place in Majuba Village, outside Sterkspruit, on Sunday at around 10:15.

The man cannot be identified until he has made his first court appearance.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana the elderly woman was believed to be responsible for the death of a young man in the area who was buried the Saturday.

A group of men then allegedly assaulted her, held her head in a drum of water until she died and torched her rondavel.

Her 23-year-old grandchild escaped when the paraffin they poured on the grandchild's body failed to ignite.

"The surviving victim who lived with the deceased has been taken to a place of safety and is currently under police protection," said Kinana.

Kinana said the man would appear in the Sterkspruit Regional Court on charges of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, arson, murder and attempted murder.

Eastern Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga has deployed a team of detectives to the area to find the perpetrators.

"We condemn such brutal and barbaric attacks on our women, elderly and children especially in our rural areas. No one deserves to die in such a painful manner at the hands of heartless men accusing her of witchcraft.

"We, as the provincial police, cannot tolerate such disrespect for human life, the rule of law and supremacy of our Constitution, including basic human rights," said Ntshinga.

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