Yolisa Tingwe talks about witnessing the fatal torching of Jacquelene Mpontsana.
Yolisa Tingwe talks about witnessing the fatal torching of Jacquelene Mpontsana.

Suspect alleged to have torched girlfriend still on the run

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Sep 23, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - A Gugulethu man who allegedly doused his girlfriend in flammable liquid and set her alight for refusing to go sleep with him, is on the run.

Forty-year-old Jacquelene Mpontsana, fondly known as Jacque , had an argument with her 38-year-old boyfriend around 1.50am on Monday.

Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said the circumstances surrounding the murder were under investigation and the suspect who fled is yet to be arrested.

When the Cape Times visited the scene on Wednesday, the sitting room of the house where Mpontsana had been set alight was gutted and other rooms in the house were blackened due to the smoke.

The boyfriend's aunt who witnessed the harrowing ordeal said the family was woken up by a loud argument.

“Jacque visited on Sunday like she usually does but her boyfriend was not home and his room was locked. We made space for her to sleep with another family member in the house. The boyfriend came back at midnight demanding they go and sleep together.

“She refused and wanted to know where he had been. He started attacking her. We were woken up by the noise and chased him away because we warned him to never beat her again. After a while he returned back and went to the kitchen door which had a problem and because I knew he would kick it open, we opened it,” said the aunt.

She said Mpontsana was seated on the couch when the boyfriend tapped her on the shoulder and when she turned back to look he allegedly poured liquid that was in a 2 liter Jive bottle on her and set her alight.

“I think he hid the lighter because we just saw her engulfed by flames and he ran out. We tried to put down the fire but she was running around the room and to other rooms, screaming. She ran to the bathroom where I think she must have opened the shower. Everything happened so fast. We called police and residents to assist, Jackie and another child who was still inside the house were taken out through the window,” she said.

Mpontsana’s brother Mncedisi said his sister died on Monday afternoon and the family was devastated.

“We arrived at the scene when the ambulance just arrived. She was in a lot of pain and was dark from head to toe. The doctors even told us they doubt she will survive due to the severe burn wounds. My sister was a mother to a girl ,13, and a breadwinner in our family.”

Mpontsana has been employed at the Department of Community Safety since 2005.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said:“Our staff and I have really been shaken by this terrible news. What makes her passing especially tragic is that her work entailed inspecting SAPS stations for their compliance to assist victims of domestic and gender-based violence. It is incredibly upsetting. But we have to go on. We cannot surrender in the face of this scourge. We have to keep fighting, for Jacque, and for every other victim like her.”

Anyone with information about the incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 0860010111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211.

Cape Times

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