Thu Oct 20 21:58:18 SAST 2016

'Jealous, cruel arsonist' boyfriend to appear in court

By Riot Hlatshwayo | Jan 20, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A "JEALOUS and cruel" boyfriend, who allegedly petrol-bombed the house belonging to his girlfriend's grandmother last month, severely injuring the woman's nine-year-old son, will appear in court today.

Zwelithini Shabangu, 28, had been on the run since the incident at KaNyamazane's Section 5 in Mpumalanga. He was arrested last Tuesday.

Shabangu appeared briefly in the KaNyamazane periodical court the next day. He was remanded pending his next court appearance for a bail application.

Shabangu's girlfriend, Bridget Shabangu, 28, told Sowetan that she lived with him from 2007 until November last year.

She accused him of being abusive, cruel and jealous. She also claimed that he loved money so much that he depended on loan sharks but failed to repay them.

This had resulted in the loan sharks confiscating items from their house, including the bed the couple slept on.

"As soon as a loan shark took the bed away, I thought about the bed I left back home at my grandmother's.

"I decided to return to my home because there was no future with this man,"Bridget Shabangu said yesterday

She said she returned to her home in November but Zwelithini Shabangu chased and threatened her with violence when she returned from work on December 18.

"That night, I and my family, including my two sons aged nine and two, my uncle, mother, as well as my sister, went to sleep.

"At about 1am we heard a windowpane shattering and woke up.

"I saw the man I had loved for nearly two years getting into the house through the bedroom window. I asked him what he was trying to do.

"He started pouring petrol into the bedroom," she said.

She said he set the house on fire. She managed to save her two-year-old son from the fire, while her older son sustained burns.

"I ran to the kitchen and saw my son literally on fire. He ran towards me and other family members as we all scrambled to the kitchen door," she said.

Neighbours tried to extinguish the blaze but the fire was too strong. The house was completely gutted.

"My nine-year-old son Sandile was rushed to the local clinic and was later transferred to Nelspruit Medi-Clinic, where he is still being treated to this day," she said.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Superintendent Klaas Maluka confirmed the incident and said investigations were continuing.

Police have vowed to oppose bail because Shabangu had allegedly threatened to kill Bridget and her mother before KaNyamazane police arrested him.


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