Woman is set alight

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

A 52-year-old Limpopo woman is fighting for her life in an unidentified hospital after sustaining serious injuries in a fire allegedly started by villagers.

The incident happened at Loloka village outside Giyani yesterday morning.

Police spokesman Superintendent Moatshe Ngoepe said the villagers had accused the woman of practising witchcraft.

He said the woman, who may not be named for security reasons, was asleep when she heard people singing outside.

When she woke up to investigate, she was pelted with an assortment of objects, said Ngoepe.

He said the house was doused with petrol and set alight.

"The victim tried to escape, but she was too late and was badly burnt," Ngoepe said.

The woman sustained injuries to her head, hands and chest.

All her belongings were burnt and damage is estimated at around R200000, Ngoepe said.

"She is in hospital with third degree burns," he said.

Ngoepe said the woman was one of three wives of a sangoma. The three wives live on the same premises, but in separate houses. It is not clear why villagers targeted the woman.

No arrests have been made by late yesterday. Ngoepe said investigations were continuing.

"We urge communities to refrain from accusing people as witches without providing proof. But we will investigate the motive for the attack," he said.

The community had earlier also accused the woman's husband of practising witchcraft.