Cele urges community to work with police after seven men charged with murder, including councillor
Police Minister Bheki Cele has reacted to the recent murders in Ezingqolweni and Maqhashu villages in
With the recent murders which emerged after cases of mob justice last week, 13 people have been killed in less
than four months in Ezinqolweni alone.
Four people were burnt alive and the fifth escaped and later died in a hospital the next day. Two were
found hanging in a forest near Maqhashu Village.
The seven men who were arrested days after the mob incident included an Emalahleni councillor, Hluphekile Cecil Bobotyana,62, who was charged with five counts of murder.
“There can never be any justification of such callous acts. Members of the community are always urged to work with the police to bring about justice.”
His co-accused, who also face five counts of murder, are Malibongwe Kiki, 42, Phindile Mbanden,47, Lindela Majo, 56, Bangindawo Nyameni, 51, Sabelo Khala,46, Nduumiso Bukwana,36, and Malibongwe Mgaqa,49.
They were to appear in the Cacadu magistrate’s court Friday for a bail application, after their first court appearance on Monday.
The minister, through his spokesperson, Lirandzu Themb, said he had been kept abreast of the latest developments and was encouraged that arrests had
Cele said: “There can never be any justification of such callous acts. Members of the community are
always urged to work with the police to bring about justice.”
Provincial ANC secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said Bobotyane would be asked to step aside from his duties until the court had been finalised.
A former Ezngqolweni resident, Ncebakazi Nontyida, whose aunt was murdered in February, said she
had since left the village.
A villager, whose identity cannot be revealed for her protection, said the community was not happy with the arrests made after the mob killings last week.
She said: “The people the police were supposed to arrest are dead. They were reported to the police by
community members, but they did not arrest them.”
“The people the police were supposed to arrest are dead. They were reported to the police by community members, but they did not arrest them.”
She said at this stage, everyone one in village was viewed as a suspect in the recent murders.
As a result, a lawyer had stepped in to assist them with legal matters, she said.
She added that after the first six murders, residents had
left the village.
“Most of the people who lived alone were taken away by their children. Many houses are now closed.”
One of the issues the residents disputed with the provincial commissioner of police, Lt-General Liziwe Ntshinga, and Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane during their visit, had been the lack of a Community Policing Forum.
Another resident said a community policing forum was formed, however it could not be activated due to a lack of funding.