KZN woman's cousin, neighbour held after her rape and strangulation

A 20-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman was repeatedly raped and then strangled, allegedly by her cousin and a neighbour.
A 20-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman was repeatedly raped and then strangled, allegedly by her cousin and a neighbour.
Image: 123rf/ Igor Stevanovic

A 20-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman was brutally murdered after being repeatedly raped on Saturday, allegedly by her cousin and a neighbour. 

According to the provincial department of social development, the woman, identified as Nomvula “Juba” Buthelezi, was attacked by two men on Saturday night at her homestead in the area of Mashesheleng, under the Molefe clan in Nquthu.  

KwaZulu-Natal social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said she was "disturbed and disheartened" by the rape and murder of the young woman.

"It’s alleged  the attack occurred on Saturday night when she had just arrived back home from a  nearby shop. The perpetrators allegedly gagged Nomvula before dragging her to another house within the homestead, where she was repeatedly raped and strangled,” she said. 

Khoza said she was shocked to learn that one that one of the alleged perpetrators was Buthelezi's cousin.  

“The mother of this young lady had assumed she was with her aunt when she did not see her on Saturday night. The mother heard the devastating news when it was broken to her the next day while she was at church."

The victim’s body had been discovered by family members in one of the houses in the homestead. It was covered with a blanket, allegedly to give the impression the person underneath it was asleep. One of the alleged perpetrators, the cousin, was arrested by police on Sunday and the neighbour was arrested on Monday. 

“Clearly these two men were well known to the victim. Considering that one of them is her cousin, who lived in the same homestead as her, there is very good reason to believe she trusted him. These are the men who were supposed to protect her but they are the ones who allegedly violated her," said Khoza. 

She said a team of social workers provided the Buthelezi family with psycho-social support following the tragedy.


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