Husband wanted for wife’s murder,stabbings of two kids

Neighbours label Sibiya serial spouse abuser

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
Mandla Sibiya and his wife Fisiwe Msane-Sibiya in happier times.
Mandla Sibiya and his wife Fisiwe Msane-Sibiya in happier times.

Neighbours of a Mpumalanga man who is on the run following the murder of his wife and attempted murders of their two children have told of how the couple's eldest child called for help following the incident.

They said the incident – in which a 36-year-old woman was stabbed to death and the couple's children left for dead after they were also stabbed by their father, a security guard – happened just after 5am on Monday in Mataffin, Mbombela.

Provincial police have urged the public to help them find the husband, Mandla Sibiya, 41.

The children are aged four and 14.

Provincial police spokesperson Col Donald Mdhluli said: "This is [the manhunt] in connection with the murder of his wife Fisiwe Msane-Sibiya, whose body was found lying in a pool of blood in her house on Monday morning. Information at our disposal suggests that the husband did the act in the early hours of Monday around 5.30am and then fled the scene.

"We are asking for anyone who sees or knows the whereabouts of Sibiya to contact their nearest police [station]."

Mdhluli said police are investigating a case of murder and two counts of attempted murder. 

"Apart from the murder and attempted murder charges, we cannot rule out [the possibility that] more charges could be added as the investigation continues," said Mdhluli. 

A neighbour who received a call from the 14-year-old child and was among the first people to arrive at the house, said the children were found lying next to their mother, who was later declared dead at the scene.

"I received a call from the child who told me that their father had stabbed them. I rushed there as I called other neighbours. When we arrived at the house, we found that the burglar door was locked," recalled Sindi Mathebula.

"We had to break it to gain entry. When we entered, we found the children lying next to their mother and all of them were bleeding profusely. Their mother lay dead in a pool of blood as her eldest daughter tried to wake her up. She was not moving," said Mathebula. 

Another neighbour, Sibusiso Nkosi, said at about 3pm on Sunday, Msane-Sibiya called out for help during a conflict between the couple.

"She called out for help from the neighbours as another fight had broken out between her and her husband. While we were waiting for the police to arrive, the man ran away with the house keys," said Nkosi.

Mandla Sibiya is wanted by the police I'm Mpumalanga in connection with the murder of his wife, Fisiwe Msane-Sibiya and stabbing of their two children.
Mandla Sibiya is wanted by the police I'm Mpumalanga in connection with the murder of his wife, Fisiwe Msane-Sibiya and stabbing of their two children.
Image: Supplied

"We (neighbours) all went home and the police also left as he was not there and had not returned by the time we left the mother and her children in the house. We thought he went far away because we told him we had called the police to arrest him. He never said a word."

Mathebula and Nkosi painted a picture of how the couple lived, saying very often they would go to the house to stop their fights. 

"Now and again, the 14-year-old child would call me on the phone or call out my name and ask for help as her parents were fighting. Most of the time, she would say her father was beating up her mother.

"We would go to the house to defuse the situation and tell them that fighting is bad. I'd even tell them that they are setting a bad example to their children as they were fighting in front of them," Mathebula said.

Nkosi said he had lost count of the number of times neighbours had been called out to stop the man from beating up his unemployed wife.

"Very often, I'd hear noises or their child would call out for help. I have spoken to them and other neighbours have done the same thing. I am shocked that she is now dead," said Nkosi.

Mdhluli said Sibiya had at some stage opened a case of attempted murder against a neighbour. He said this was after Sibiya alleged that neighbours had attacked him.

Sowetan understands that the attack happened during one of the many domestic violence episodes between the couple.

By late on Tuesday the children were still in hospital.

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