902 A crime scene expert takes pictures of the scene on 7th street in Linden where 3 men tried to hijack a woman after a chase with the police that started in Robindale. 190208. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Butterworth, Eastern Cape -

Residents of the Eastern Cape's “village of death”, eTholeni, should help turn crime around, provincial safety MEC Helen Sauls-August said on Wednesday.

“The community must help us identify the people who had turned the area into a village of death,” she said.

Her plea came after Boniswa Lubambo, 55, was hacked to death at her home at R1 Location in the village, near Butterworth, last weekend. Her son, who was asleep in the same house, discovered her body on Sunday morning.

She was the 19th woman to be killed in the area since 2008.

Sauls-August said the province needed a new plan to stop the killings.

Her department would meet concerned parties on Thursday to review the province's security strategy. Representatives from the National Prosecuting Authority, social development department and the police were among those expected to attend.

A 39-year-old man was taken in for questioning and later charged with Lubambo's murder on Sunday, police said Tuesday.

He appeared in the Butterworth Magistrate's Court on charges of murder, attempted murder, rape, and housebreaking, but was not asked to plead, police spokesman Captain Jackson Manatha said.

He would remain in custody until his formal bail application on August 23. - Sapa