Induna to face the music

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

An induna in Mpumalanga is in hot water after he allegedly sjamboked a heavily pregnant woman and her husband after accusing the man of neglecting his second wife.

The woman was admitted to hospital and her husband was treated and discharged.

Madala Biya is facing assault charges after Thandi Nhlabatsi, 30, was sjamboked at a tribal court in Msogwaba outside Nelspruit.

She and her husband Thembinkosi Mathebula, 34, were sjambokked when his second wife complained that Mathebula only cared for Nhlabatsi.

She also claimed that he had neglected their three children.

The enraged second wife took the matter to the tribal court for the chief's intervention.

Both Mathebula and Nhlabatsi were hauled before the tribal court, where they were found guilty of negligence. They were sentenced to be sjambokked.

Biya allegedly led members of the tribal court in whipping the couple.

Nhlabatsi was admitted to Nelspruit's Rob Ferreira Hospital, where she is still being treated for injuries to her buttocks.

Biya was not asked to plead when he appeared in the KaNyamazane magistrate's court on Friday. His case was postponed to June 19 to allow for further investigations.

Inkosi Sipho Mahlangu, chairman of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders, condemned Biya's action.

"He has been suspended with immediate effect since he failed to follow our procedures," Mahlangu said.

"We send our sincere apologies to the affected families and we promise that Biya will receive the appropriate punishment if he is found guilty."

This is not the first time an induna has been arrested for assault in the Lowveld. Galela Metiso, who works for the Matsamo Tribal Authority, was charged with assault after he allegedly beat Nkonde Shongwe to death with a knobkerrie in December last year.

Shongwe was part of the group of villagers in Jeppes Reef, near the Swaziland border, who had been fighting for the right to settle on a prime piece of land called Kosovo on the Driekoppies Dam.

He will appear in court soon.