Outcry over separate killings of teens

Two deaths in two days in Mlungisi have created shock waves and led to a call for reformation in crime-fighting.

Polar Park residents were outraged and disgusted by the cold-blooded killing of a woman who was found dead on the outskirts of the township early on Monday morning.

At the scene there was a pool of blood as the body of a half-naked, bloodied 18-year-old woman was surrounded by residents at a dumpsite.

An alleged perpetrator had been handed over to the police. He was apprehended and assaulted by residents after an onlooker linked him to the victim.

According to those at the scene, the woman came from Ilinge. She had been lured to the township by her alleged murderer under the pretence of taking her to a party. The act was exacerbated by the revelation that the victim and alleged perpetrator were related.

Inkululeko neighbourhood watch secretary Elias Magwayi said they suspected the victim had also been sexually assaulted because how they found the body.

“The person who identified the body said he knew the woman. When we inquired further he told us she had been with his brother at a party the night before,” said Magwayi

A person at the scene, Bonaphi Nyakumbi, said the community would no longer tolerate such criminality, adding that the alleged killer was no longer welcome in the area.

“If the court should see fit to release him, he must not make the mistake of thinking he can come back. Too many bodies have been found here. He could have been involved in those murders too. It cannot be the first time that he was so brave as to kill his own family.

“What he did was heinous. People wanted to take the law into their own hands. It was fortunate that members of the neighbourhood watch were here or he would not have been handed over.

“We wish the law would be applied accordingly. All the evidence is there. We found him with the victim’s phone and he was covered in blood. He also confessed to being the last person with her. When we asked what had happened when they separated he could not give a straight answer. He could not give an account of why his clothes and shoes had blood on them. People who murder women and children have no place in society and we will not tolerate it,” said the irate resident.

Police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni said the suspect would appear in the Queenstown magistrate’s court on a charge of murder.

In another bloody sequence of events, a quarrel between two young boys playing soccer turned violent, leaving one dead, while the other handed himself over to police.

Puleng Mphele, 16, succumbed to his stab wounds on Tuesday at Bhongweni, Mlungisi. It was reported that the accused stabbed the deceased with an unidentified sharp object when an altercation between the two broke out.

“According to reports, the accused immediately handed himself over to the police after realising what he had done. From what we can tell, there were not many stab wounds but there was one on his chest. These gruesome acts do not sit well with me. We need to go back to uniting neighbourhood watch committees to spread throughout Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality,” said Magwayi who was also present at the scene.

Upon arrival at the scene the aunt of the deceased wept as she saw the boy’s lifeless body lying on the ground. She said she was on her way home from work and had been informed of the tragic news over the phone. The emotional aunt, who did not reveal her name, would not comment further.

Following the two deaths, Magwayi has called for the reformation of the safety and crime stop forum and Unity in Action Against Crime.

He said the Inkululeko neighbourhood watch, which was actively involved in rooting out crime in various areas, had yielded positive results and had assisted in stopping criminal activities in many areas. During discussions in a meeting with members on Monday, Magwayi said there was a growing consensus to bring back the structure to ensure safety and harmony in communities.

Mdleleni said a case of murder had been opened and a minor was arrested after allegedly stabbing a 16-year-old to death. The minor is to appear in the Queenstown magistrate’s court on Wednesday.

Reporting by Ntsikelelo Qoyo and Zintle Bobelo

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