‘Prompt response could have saved him’

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IOL  ct Nothemba Mdingi 1614 CAPE TIMES Nothemba Mdingi tells how her son Lisolomzi Anele Mdingi, 19, was set alight in a mob attack in Khayelitsha a week ago. Photo: COURTNEY AFRICA

Cape Town - A prompt police response and intervention would have saved her son from the group of men who set him alight, killing him, a distraught mother of three has said in Khayelitsha.

Nothemba Mdingi said her son, Lisolomzi Anele Mdingi, 19, died in the mob attack in Town Two last Monday.

A large group of residents dragged him out of his home, saying he had stabbed several people at random on a street in retaliation for an incident that has taken place the day before, Nothemba said.

“What he did was wrong, but they did not have to kill him. They could have talked to me before deciding to take his life. He was on drugs when he attacked those people.”

Police have not confirmed that Lisolomzi was the culprit.

Before the stabbing, Lisolomzi had gone out with his friends and came back home with stab wounds in his arms, his mother said.

“We have never seen him like he was that day. He was angry and you can see that he was not himself. He just came and took a knife and went out. He stabbed people and we don’t know what happened before he attacked them.

“We called the Lingelethu Police Station to get him arrested because we feared he might be killed, but they said there was no case opened. This was after several calls we made to them,” she said, tears streaming down her face.

Nothemba struggled to control her emotions and broke down in tears.

Her daughter Siyolise Maqam took over. “Once you call the police, you urgently need help. My battery’s phone died because I could not get through to the police station. This was before they came here and kicked the door looking for Anele,” she said.

“After we got through, one police van arrived after a while after they caught him and beat him. The police were stoned and couldn’t do anything to save him. There were a lot of people and they only send one van,” she said.

“I feel if they had arrested him when we asked them to do, we wouldn’t have found ourselves in this situation we are in now. We cannot open a case because we do not feel safe. What if they come after us. It feels like the world has turned against us,” Maqam said.

“The important thing for us is our safety. We feel even more vulnerable now that the investigating officer asked us to write down the names and addresses of the people who were there that night when Anele was killed. We feel like the police could have done more than just sending two officials to control a crowd of more than 200 people,” said Maqam.

“It’s over now. Opening a case won’t bring my son back to life. But it is hard to accept what has happened to us. No parents want to see their children dying, you want your children to bury you,” Nothemba said.

Her son’s funeral was on Sunday.

The family welcomed the recommendations made by the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.

The commission was probing police inefficiencies and breakdown in communication between the police and the community. It found there was a breakdown in relations between the police and the community.

It made 20 recommendations that could assist in improving the state of policing in the township.

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Cape Times

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