Durban — Squabbles around the land issue are believed to be the motive behind the petrol bombing of two homes in Mariannhill.
It is alleged that some people were aggrieved over the land on which the two houses were built.
The two separate incidents occurred in ward 14 in Oakland, Mariannhill, on Saturday night.
The Dlamini family were renting one of the houses that were attacked and were left with the charred remains of its contents, while the Thusi family’s house was partially-burnt after the torching.
Eight Dlamini family members rented the house, including three adults and five children. There were five family members in the Thusi family home.
The incidents left both families homeless.
Ward 14 councillor Mthokozisi Gasa said they suspected the motive for the two torching incidents was infighting and squabbles around the land issue by people aggrieved about the land on which the two houses were built.
Mariannhill Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Dawood Chirwa said as a community activist and leader, he received a call from a ward committee member informing him of the incident on Sunday morning.
He said in one incident, a family of eight was left destitute with only the clothes on their backs.
The three adults and five children have been assisted by a group called Mariannhill SAPS Men for Change with a donation of blankets and other such items. The Mariannhill Islamic Musjid at Zenzeleni, Moulana Igbaal, with the help of CPF chairperson Chirwa, donated mattresses and food parcels to the destitute families.
Councillor Gasa said he received a call about the incident at 6am on Sunday. He gathered together other committee members and they went to see the families.
“The Dlamini family has been moved to the Hector Pieterson Community Hall. I donated 12 blankets to them, food parcels and mattresses.”
Gasa said the Thusi family of five: a mother, three young children and a young man in his twenties, were also left destitute after their house was partially gutted. On assessing the situation, the councillor said he donated four blankets.
“I have reported the two arson incidents to the city’s disaster management, and they have to still come and assess the damage before determining how to help the affected families,” Gasa said.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said Mariannhill police are investigating arson after two houses were burnt down by unknown suspects on Oleander Road in Oakland on Saturday night.
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