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Durban - A group of residents from uMlazi’s P-Section allegedly torched two houses belonging to a woman who, with her two teenage children, had been arrested for murder.
The woman was granted bail by the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court on Monday while her teenage children were released into the care of an adult.
The trio were arrested in connection with the murder of Funokwakhe Cele who was found dead at their doorstep last Thursday morning.
Candle wax and small incisions were found on Cele’s body, as well as black crosses on his temples.
Cellophane tape had been placed on the cuts on his body.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said the two houses were set alight on Wednesday night by locals after a community meeting.
“The complainant got a call that people were coming and they should run. The complainant and the family fled,” he said.
Zwane said there had been no arrests and police were investigating a case of arson.
Both houses were on the same property.
According to a witness – who asked not to be named as he said he feared for his life – there had been mixed emotions at the meeting.
The man said some members of the community were angry that the woman had been granted bail and wanted to retaliate by setting fire to her house.
Others at the meeting had tried to calm the angry residents.
They had tried to talk them out of setting alight the woman’s house, the man said.
“I got there when the fire had already started. It was chaotic,” he said.
He explained that people had become angry after reading a newspaper report that the woman had been granted bail.
Cele’s aunt, Babhekile Cele, said the family had since moved from P-Section to their homestead in Ngonyameni on the South Coast.
“And how did she get bail, how come they are all out of jail? How did that happen?
“We have all been in Ngonyameni and know nothing about the fire,” she said.
Local councillor, Abegail Nomthandazo Shabalala, denied that emotions had run high at the community meeting.
“The meeting was an ANC meeting that we have every Wednesday and when that meeting was over, at the gate, we were told about the fire,” she said.
Shabalala said she could not get close to the fire as police had closed the road.
The Daily News contacted a family member of the accused but was told there was no comment, as this was now a “police matter”.
The three accused are due back in court on April 17.