Man sets ex-lover ablaze, steals her cash

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Friends of a Soweto woman who burnt to death after being set alight by her ex-lover are desperately searching for her family.

Sthembile Manzini, 37, died at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital on Friday after suffering third-degree burns.

It is alleged that Manzini was doused with petrol and set alight by her former lover in Zondi, Soweto.

Her ex-boyfriend is believed to have fled with her savings of R75000.

Manzini's friend, who did not want to be named, claimed Manzini's ex-boyfriend was a violent and calculating man who planned her death to cash in on her money.

"On Thursday evening she collected R75000 from our saving scheme and carried it in her handbag," the friend said. "She wanted nothing to do with him and he wanted her money at all costs."

She said the empty handbag with a broken strap was found in the main house.

"They were probably fighting over the money when the strap broke," she said.

The couple had been seeing each other for five years and had a tumultuous relationship," Manzini's friend said.

"They often argued and he used to beat her. Once he hit her so hard that she couldn't see because her face was so swollen.

"They separated nearly three months ago and she went to live with another friend in Rockville.

"It seems they wanted to get back together after he helped her recover a rental car she was using that had been hijacked."

Though she had known Manzini for eight years, she said, she knew little about her family.

"She spoke little about her family. All I know is that she has a sister, Tozo Manzini, who is a teacher in KwaZulu-Natal."

She said since the incident she had been receiving threatening phone calls. But Captain Lindiwe Mbatha of Soweto police could not confirm the incident.