No arrests for mob killings, inquiry told

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IOL khayelitsha ct Witness Nomakhuma Bontshi0163 done INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Nomakhuma Bontshi at the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Thomas Holder

Cape Town - Andile Mtsholo was beaten, stabbed and necklaced, allegedly by Khayelitsha residents, in a vigilante attack in 2012.

Two years later, Mtsholo’s family still don’t know who his attackers were and say the police have not been much help.

In testimony before the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating police inefficiencies, Mtsholo’s aunt Nomakhuma Bontshi said police had spoken to the family only once and had not informed them of any developments in the case.

“As far as I know Andile’s murder has never been solved by the police. I do not know what evidence the police collected, but judging from the various accounts we heard from locals, there would have been people who witnessed the killing,” Bontshi said.

“As his family we would like to know who killed him and why. We feel strongly that despite his misbehaviour he did not deserve this – and especially not the way he was killed.”

An emotional Bontshi, who lives in Gugulethu, gave an account of what happened on May 2012.

She said that on May 19 she been summoned to a meeting by residents of Khayelitsha’s B Section, where Mtsholo lived.

At the meeting, residents told her they were “fed up” with her nephew, who robbed people and smoked drugs in his late parents’ home.

“The voices of those who spoke were noisy and threatening, with one person suggesting that they search for him around the area and that they wanted to teach him a lesson,” Bontshi said.

She said it had been decided the family would remove Mtsholo from the community and take him to the Eastern Cape.

But the next morning, Bontshi received news that her nephew had been killed.

His charred remains had been found in a field not far from Mtsholo’s home. He had been stabbed and burnt to death by necklacing.

A case was opened at the Lingelethu West police station.

Bontshi told the commission that shortly after the murder, police interviewed the family about possible suspects.

That was the last time the family had heard anything about the matter.

Another resident, Mzoxolo Thame, spoke of the ill treatment he received when he enquired about his cousin’s murder.

Xolisile Thame was killed after he was allegedly caught with his body “halfway through a window of a house, breaking in”, in January last year.

Thame said the investigating officer in the case had been harsh and uncaring.

“He told me: ‘The laaitie (little boy) was caught with his body halfway through the window of a house, and he was moered’,” Thame said.

He said when he asked the investigating officer about the suspects, who had been caught, as the family wanted to get legal advice, the detective told him he would be wasting his money and suggested Xolisile was guilty.

He took up the matter with the officer’s superior, who told him the detective was the right person to investigate the case.

Thame said that was the last time he heard anything about the case.

“I personally feel they don’t understand their fundamental responsibility, which is to service the community,” Thame said.

“They feel they are doing the community a favour.”

The commission is to continue on Monday with more testimonies.

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Cape Times

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