'We want more arrests' - family of murdered schizophrenic woman accused of being a witch

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Collen Sello and Taelo Dipholo, in court for murder.
Collen Sello and Taelo Dipholo, in court for murder.
Ntwaagae Seleka
  • Family of the woman killed after being accused of being a witch have pleaded for more arrests.
  • Jostina Sangweni, who had schizophrenia, was attacked and set alight on 26 March.
  • Collen Sello and Taelo Dipholo have appeared in court for allegedly being part of the mob that killed Sangweni.

The family of Jostina Sangweni has pleaded for the arrest of more suspects involved in her murder.

The family asked residents of Mapetla in Soweto, who witnessed Sangweni's killing, to come forward.

Sangweni, who had schizophrenia, was allegedly attacked and set alight on 26 March.

She was accused of being a witch after her attackers found her wearing traditional attire in a residential yard. 

She succumbed to her injuries in hospital on 5 April.

Family spokesperson Jabulani Moagi addressed the media outside the Protea Magistrate's Court following the appearance of Collen Sello, 27, and co-accused Taelo Dipholo, 28.

Sello and Dipholo are accused of being part of a mob of Mapetla residents who brutally attacked Sangweni. 

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

"We have made several appeals to community members of Mapetla to come out and tell the truth. We promised them that they will be protected. Residents of Mapetla don't care what happened to us as a family. They don't feel what we are feeling.

"Those who saw what happened to our mother know who her assailants are because they live among them. We are pleading with them to come forward. Hiding her attackers won't help them because the same people will one day attack more women and children in Mapetla regardless of their situation," said Moagi.

The family commended the police for arresting Sello and Dipholo. The men have not yet pleaded to the charges.

"I am very pleased with how things have started. The truth will eventually come out. There are some outstanding people who were involved in her attack. Police have told us that they are looking for more suspects," said Moagi.

He added that Sangweni was a traditional healer by profession until her health deteriorated.

"At the time of her death, she was no longer practising as a traditional healer. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia on 3 March. Her death has affected us. We are now impatient with one another since her death. We are battling to sleep because the incident is still lingering in our minds.  

"I was there after her attack. It was a sad and emotional sight to see people standing and watching when a mob attacked and set an innocent woman alight," Moagi said.

Sello and Dipholo are expected back in court on 4 May.

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