News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday May 24th 2018

Necklacing returns to Khayelitsha

Children play around the site where Litha Ndzanga was burnt to death due to vigilante action on Monday night. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

Children play around the site where Litha Ndzanga was burnt to death due to vigilante action on Monday night. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

25\09\2012

Following a three month lull in vigilante necklacings since a spate of such incidents in Khayelitsha rocked the country earlier this year, a 28-year-old man was stoned and then set alight in Khayelitsha’s SST informal settlement on Monday night.

And earlier on Monday a 26-year-old man was stoned and beaten to death by a vigilante mob of residents in Harare 35 Block.

Bonga Ntlathi was stoned to death after allegedly caught stealing a cellphone from one of the houses in Harare.

According to sources in the neighbourhood, Ntlathi broke into the house at about 2am and was spotted by the owner, who raised the alarm.

He was apparently caught shortly afterwards and beaten for hours until finally being killed at about 8am.

Then at about 11pm on Monday night Litha Ndzanga, 28, was stoned before being necklaced on a children’s playground in SST informal settlement, allegedly by members of a security patrol.

Ndzanga’s death brings the number of people killed by the horrific apartheid-era practice of necklacing, or by being otherwise burnt to death in Khayelitsha, to ten this year.

Ndzanga’s death came as a result of residents of the informal settlement having for the past month been on the hunt for the men responsible for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Azola Dyani on September 4.

The hunt resulted in a house belonging to a man known only as Zola being burnt down on September 6.

Allegedly Zola, who still at large, shot and wounded a man in SST on Sunday afternoon.

Following the shooting residents had a meeting on Monday the whole day and it was decided to launch a search for Zola.

According to eye-witnesses the men went to neighbouring Makhaya looking for Zola and questioned Ndzanga, who was believed to be his friend.

However, Ndzanga apparently refused to point out where Zola was hiding and stabbed one of the men. They then grabbed him, beat him and dragged him to a small children’s park behind SST where they stoned him before putting a tyre around his neck and burning him.

“This is a lesson, the search continues until we found Zola “said a resident.

The news of Ndzanga’s death spread quickly. Even though residents refused to comment they expressed relief that he was dead.

“I still cannot believe it that SST residents managed to kill him. He’s been terrorising the area, a family was raped here and he was involved. No-one knows what happened to that case,” said a Makhaya resident.

Ndzanga’s family refused to give their names to the media but his mother said the family was in shock.

“He just came out of jail in August for stealing a cell phone last year. He did not steal, his friend did. I was woken up by his friend. He told me some patrollers from SST left with Litha. We called the police, they (police) rushed at the scene where they found him burning but no one was there,” said the grieving mother

His aunt said Ndzunga was a friendly person but residents liked to accused him of robberies.

“We had a special bond me and him. He was not troublesome but residents always accused him. At once they accused him of killing and raping a family here, even when he was in Pollsmoor people would come here and accuse him,” said his Aunt.

The family said the only time Ndzunga commited a crime was when he was found breaking into a house in Stellenbosch, for which he was sentenced.

Provincial police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk said police in Harare 35 Block police responded to a scene in which 26-year-old Bonga Ntlathi died in the ambulance on his way to hospital after being assaulted by the community.

“It is believed that they caught him whilst he broke into a house but this will only be confirmed after the investigation has been finalized,” stated van Wyk.

He two suspects had been arrested in relation to Ntlathi’s death.

Van Wyk also confirmed that Zukisani Litha Ndzanga was set alight on playground at SST informal settlement.

The incident occurred at 22.40, said van Wyk, and no arrests have yet been made. – Nombulelo Damba

Children play around the site where Litha Ndzanga was burnt to death due to vigilante action on Monday night. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

Children play around the site where Litha Ndzanga was burnt to death due to vigilante action on Monday night. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

Tags: Azola Dyani, Bonga Ntlathi, Frederick Van Wyk, Khayelitsha, Litha Ndzanga, Makhaya, necklacing, SST, Zola, Zukisani Litha Ndzanga

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