Mystery as couple dies 24 hours apart

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crime scene august 3

Independent Newspapers

File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Durban - A day after a New Germany woman was found stabbed to death in her kitchen, her husband was found hanging from a tree at a cemetery.

The deaths have shocked and baffled family and friends. Police have not yet disclosed the motives.

The body of Mbali Chiliza, 34, was discovered in her home on Wednesday evening. She had been stabbed multiple times, said police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane.

While friends and family were still trying to make sense of her brutal murder, her husband, Themba, 35, was found hanging from a tree at a cemetery in Molweni, near Inanda, on Thursday.

His friend, Bongani Kheswa, told the Daily News of his shock when police notified him of the apparent suicide.

“I just hope they will find a note, maybe on him or his car, explaining what could have gone wrong.”

Kheswa discovered Mbali’s body the day before.

He said he had been worried about the couple after a friend phoned him saying Themba had left his 2-year-old son at his mother’s house in Clermont.

“This was strange as the child needed to go to crèche. When he and Mbali didn’t answer calls, my friend phoned me to come with him to go check on them.”

The two friends arrived at the Chiliza home at about 9pm on Wednesday to find the house locked, but the lights on inside.

It was when Chiliza peered through a window that he saw Mbali’s body in a pool of blood.

Zwane said police had to break down the door to access the house.

A post-mortem would be held to determine the cause of death and the number of stab wounds.

Mbali had been stabbed in the head, chest and arms. There was blood on the cutlery including several knives that were strewn around the kitchen.

Until last night, Themba’s whereabouts had been unknown. When a Daily News team went to the house earlier on Thursday, a man who came to the gate said the family had been advised by their lawyer not to speak to the media.

Ignatious Mthembu, regional HR manager at Fedics, a catering company where Mbali worked as a trainer, said they were deeply saddened and shocked, especially because of the manner and circumstances of her death.

Zwane could not confirm if Themba was a suspect in his wife’s death. He said police were still investigating. The motives in both cases were not yet known, he added.

Kheswa said he had been close to both husband and wife since they got married seven years ago.

He said he did not know of anything that might have led to their tragic ends.

Daily News


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