News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Sunday February 17th 2019

Middle-aged woman chased from Du Noon

Thembeka Mbusi's shack was partially demolished by residents accused her of using witchcraft to start shack fires. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

A middle-aged woman in Du Noon had her shack ripped apart on Sunday and was chased out of the township because residents accused her of being a witch who started shack fires.The trouble started on Friday night, said community leader in Du Noon’s Siyahlala squatter camp, Dinilesiziwe Libala, when over 50 residents, carrying crow bars and iron poles, started demolishing 47-year-old Thembeka Mbusi’s shack.

Libala said police were called to the scene and the crowd quieted.

But the residents, their numbers swelled by an additional 50, regrouped at about 1am on Sunday morning and returned to Mbusi’s shack.

They pulled Mbusi, her son Siyabonga Nokutshaya, 21, and her daughter Funeka Nokutshaya, 27, out of the shack and told them to leave the township before they began pulling down the walls of their home.

Once again, police were called out and this time they had to fire rubber bullets to disperse them.

Speaking on Saturday after the first attempt to tear down his family home, Siyabonga said when a group of residents arrived on Friday evening he was alone inside his mother’s shack.

He said the group of about 50 angry residents ordered him out of the house and he could only watch helplessly as they started to break down the structure.

“They said our mum must leave here. They don’t want her anymore.”

Libala said Mbusi had been previously warned to leave the informal settlement as residents believed she used her powers as a Zangoma to start shack fires.

He said Mbusi’s home was always spared being burnt in shack fires even when the fire started nearby. “It’s understood by the residents that Mbusi always dreamt about shacks fires and her dreams turned out real,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the residents responsible for demolishing Mbusi’s home had gone into hiding.

Milnerton Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Daphne Dell confirmed there was an incident in Siyahlala informal settlement on Sunday morning where police used rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of disgruntled residents. No one was injured in the incident, she said.

Dell said Police are investigating charges of malicious damage to property but no arrests had yet been made.

She said Mbusi and her children had fled the area and it was not known where they had gone. — Peter Luhanga, West Cape News

Tags: Du Noon, Milnerton, Property, township

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