Landlady helped kill toddler: residents

Cops were called in to protect Phiophia Bashe's house.

Cops were called in to protect Phiophia Bashe's house.

Published Oct 11, 2011


Angry residents have vowed to destroy the house where a little boy was slaughtered in a brutal muti murder.

On Monday, hordes of residents armed with sticks and petrol bombs descended on the Gugulethu home where Athenkosi Nkone was killed on Friday afternoon.

The boy was slaughtered in the rented room of the accused, who confessed to his deed less than an hour after allegedly slitting the toddler’s throat and stuffing him in a suitcase.

Now residents are blaming the woman who rented the room to the accused, saying she is linked to the muti killing.

But 70-year-old Phiophia Bashe says she is no witch and had no idea her tenant might be a killer.

Cops were forced to move in to protect the old woman after locals flung petrol bombs through her windows in an attempt to burn down her home and her along with it. But residents tossed stones at the police van that whisked the fearful woman away from the crowd.

Officers responded by firing rubber bullets at the armed mense who continued singing songs about Bashe being a witch.

Speaking to the Daily Voice in the presence of the police, Phiophia said: “I’m scared to be in my own house.

“The accused is just a tenant and this had nothing to do with me… I never know what tenants do in their shacks and I can’t take responsibility.”

But Athenkosi’s father believes she should be in the dock along with the accused.

“I think he (the accused) had accomplices and the owner of the house should be arrested,” says grieving Sidney Mavata, 33.

“Three people went to that house and asked the old lady if she saw my son when they were searching for him and she denied seeing him.

“That sounds to me like she was in on the slaughtering of my son.

“This is all witchcraft and the sad part is that I can’t get answers to the questions I have.

“I wish I had more time with the suspect on Friday so he could give me the real reason for murdering my son.”

Meanwhile, residents packed into the Athlone Magistrates’ Court on Monday where the accused made his first court appearance on murder and kidnapping charges.

Cops say the accused allegedly lured the little boy to the Gugulethu shack with sweets.

In a shocking twist, the landlady’s son says 24 hours before the murder, the accused had told him he needed to kill someone.

And shortly after allegedly killing Athenkosi, the accused went back to Lungile Mabentsela, 53, to tell him he had carried out his dark deed.

After calling the cops, Lungile entered the shack where he found Athenkosi stuffed in a suitcase with his throat slit and his blood in a bowl close to the body.

The case was postponed to October 17 for further investigation.

* This article was published on p8 of the Daily Voice

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