A woman who was initially arrested in connection with the stoning to death of a Welbedacht sangoma has testified that residents continued to pelt the woman with stones when “she was just laying there”.

Nolitha Ngxola told the Durban Magistrate’s Court that police had arrested her because she had a sjambok in her hand when they arrived, but she was told she would be released if she made a statement to them about what had transpired the day the mob killed Philisiwe “Makhosi” Macoba.

Three men, Lucky Howard, 27, Khulile Feni, 34, and Sbusiso Mateyisa, 27, are on trial. They are alleged to have stoned Macoba to death after she was suspected of abducting Mateyisa’s two-year-old daughter, Elethu Nziba, in December.

Elethu had been found and taken to a place of safety by police two days before Macoba died.

In her testimony on Thursday, Ngxola placed only Mateyisa on the scene, saying she did not see Howard and Feni on the day.

“[Mateyisa] came long after we had been there where Makhosi was being questioned and beaten by people, and when he came, he went straight to her, asking her where the child was. She wasn’t saying one thing,” she said.

Ngxola said Macoba kept changing her story about where the child was and that was when Mateyisa struck her once on the head with a knobkierie.

“He struck her because he wanted her to tell the truth,” said Ngxola.

She said Macoba told Mateyisa that he should check for the child at a woman’s house.

“[Mateyisa] left with a group … they returned without the child and they pleaded with Macoba to tell them where the child was. There was a suggestion to go and look at her house again,” said Ngxola.

Mateyisa had not returned after this, and other residents began assaulting Macoba.

The trial continues on January 26