Thu Oct 27 16:50:18 SAST 2016


By unknown | Feb 18, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A mob burned four houses after accusing the owners of withcraft.

The attacks happened on Sunday night at Homu village's 14C section outside Giyani.

Three other houses were burnt down in the same area last year after villagers accused their owners of being responsible for the mysterious deaths of four people.

The accused were pensioners and traditional healers from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

The families of Mathebula, Mbombi, Mathiwasa and Mkhari had to sleep in the open after the attacks.

Furniture, groceries, clothing, blankets and school uniforms worth an estimated R12000 were lost in the flames, leaving the families homeless and without food.

Two school children who stay with their grandparents in the houses have not been to school since Monday as their uniforms and books were gutted in the flames.

ANC chief whip in the Mopani municipality, Moses Tembe, said the houses were allegedly burnt down by a group of notorious people who had accused the pensioners of practising witchcraft.

Tembe said the incensed villagers claimed the victims were responsible for the mysterious death of a local soccer player.

He said the group, made up mostly of youths, had gathered at a field on Sunday night and chanted anti-witchcraft slogans, after which they attacked the houses.

Tembe, who is also a local businessman, said about 20 youngsters were arrested in connection with the incident.

Inspector Thomas Makhubela said seven of those arrested were charged with arson and public violence.

The rest were released into their parents' custody.

Makhubela said the seven were refused bail and would appear in court again on February 27.


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