11/07/2013 DURBAN: HOUSE burnt by community because the owner was believed to be using witchcraft. PICTURE: SIYANDA MAYEZA

Durban - A man accused of witchcraft had to flee after he was assaulted and his home burnt down in Ndwedwe.

 SAPS spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said residents of rural Ezindlovini had allegedly demanded Mgagane Ngcobo, 62, come out of his house, where he lived alone.

“They assaulted him, burnt his house and he ran away,” said Zwane.

A neighbour, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals, claimed Ngcobo brandished a spear and threatened neighbours after they gathered around his house on Thursday.

“He was asked when he would vacate because he was not wanted in the area. He quickly got inside the house to fetch a spear, which he waved violently towards the crowd before fleeing. Then I saw smoke coming out the roof but could not see what started the fire,” he said.

When the Daily News visited the scene the corrugated iron roof had collapsed.

At the weekend police intervened after Ngcobo was attacked by the community. People accused him of witchcraft after a girl from the neighbourhood had become ill.

The area’s traditional leader, Sifiso Ngcobo, said he had held a community meeting last week where the claims had been discussed.

“We could not prove the allegations of witchcraft against him. But for safety reasons I advised him to seek shelter with his relatives,” said Ngcobo.

Police confirmed a case of arson had been opened at Ndwedwe police station and no arrests had been made.

[email protected]

Daily News