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Durban - Fed up with her boyfriend’s philandering, a woman enlisted her friends’ help to set the man’s shack alight. But when she heard screams from inside she realised the wrong people may have been caught in the blaze.
This was the chilling testimony of one of the friends, who has turned state’s witness.
Kombisile Vilikazi was giving evidence in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday against her former friends, Goodness Mchunu, 35, and Sibongiseni Mkhize, 23, as well as a third accused, Senzisihle Sikhane, 25.
The three are charged with arson, murder and two counts of attempted murder.
According to the State, Mchunu’s relationship with boyfriend, Musawenkosi Hlengwa was an acrimonious one and so she approached her alleged accomplices for help in killing him.
Hlengwa lived in an informal settlement in Lidgetton, near Howick.
On the night of June 5, 2010, the group went to his shack and looking through the window, saw two figures asleep in the one of the beds.
Sikhane is alleged to have poured petrol around the shack and Mchunu set it alight.
Hlengwa was not in the shack at the time.
A relative, Siyabonga Hlengwa was killed in the fire, while another man, Mlungisi Mchunu managed to escape.
Vilikazi told the court she first heard Mchunu speak of doing something to her boyfriend a few days before the fire.
“We were sitting and talking about boys when she (Mchunu) said that she is having trouble with her boyfriend because he likes too many girls.
“She told me that there is something she is going to do to him, but she did not explain what,” Vilikazi said.
On the day of the incident, two men told Vilikazi that Mchunu had approached them to kill her boyfriend, but they had refused.
Later that day, Mchunu invited Vilikazi to a football match at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
After the match, they returned to Howick and went to a tavern, where they met Mkhize and Sikhane and drank alcohol.
Vilikazi said that she later saw Mkhize take an empty two- litre bottle to the parking lot where he siphoned petrol into it from a car.
Then Mchunu, Mkhize, Sikhane and Vilikazi went to Hlengwa’s shack and set it alight.
“I had peered through the window and thought it was Hlengwa sleeping in the room.
“When the flames started burning we could hear the screams of the men inside the shack.
“That is when Goodness said she thinks we burned the wrong people,” Vilikazi said.
The trial continues on Tuesday.