A 22-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly stabbed and stoned his aunt to death, accusing her of witchcraft.
Abel Vundla (22) of Bambanani Village in Tjingababili, Tshitshi area in Mphoengs, allegedly killed his aunt, Hilder Ngwenya (49), of the same village.
Vundla is alleged to have committed the grisly murder a few metres away from Ngwenya’s homestead on Saturday evening.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident which he described as cruel and uncalled for.
“We are dealing with a case in which a man killed a 49-year-old woman accusing her of witchcraft. He is currently in police custody and is assisting police with investigations,” he said.
Chief Insp Ndebele urged members of the public not to take the law into their own hands.
“We have lost a precious life through barbaric beliefs of witchcraft. People should not take the law into their own hands but involve third parties in case of disputes which include the police, elderly, churches and other persons who can assist so that they reach an amicable solution. We do not encourage people to use violence for problem solving because we are losing lives unnecessarily,” he said. Neighbours said the incident happened when the deceased met Vundla on her way from escorting a neighbour’s child.
“On her way back, about 100 metres from her homestead, MaNgwenya met her nephew who had laid an ambush and he struck her with a stone on her back resulting in her falling to the ground. He then proceeded to stab her three times on her breast, left and right shoulders,” said Mr Jotham Ncube, a neighbour.
He said Vundla fled the scene of the cold blooded attack. Ngwenya, according to sources, rose to her feet and managed to stagger to her homestead where she narrated her ordeal to her 13-year-old daughter before she passed out. The daughter, whose name is being withheld as she is a minor, attempted to render first aid to no avail. She called neighbours who tried to assist but Ngwenya passed away before they could get medical assistance. The deceased managed to disclose the identity of her attacker before she died.
Neighbours called members of the neighbourhood watch committee who then made a police report.
Vundla was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning while he was sleeping in his hut. A bloody Okapi knife used in the attack was recovered.
Meanwhile, Vundla was not asked to plead to a charge of murder when he briefly appeared before Plumtree resident magistrate, Miss Sharon Rosemani on Tuesday. He was remanded in custody to 16 October and advised to apply to the High Court for bail. Prosecutor Mr Moses Kavhumbura appeared for the State.
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