Grandmother, 79, ’raped’ and set alight in Khayelitsha
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CAPE TOWN: The Ndlebe family is still reeling following the discovery of their mother’s body in Khayelitsha.
The body of Nontsikelelo Ndlebe, 79, was found by her two daughters and grandchildren. She was naked and had burnt to death in her Khayelitsha home on Saturday morning.
Nondumiso Ndlebe, 47, said her mother appeared to have been raped before she was set alight.
“We came to fetch her as she had to sign some papers and we knocked but there was no answer. We kicked open the kitchen door and found her lifeless body undressed and naked. They raped her before dousing her with fire.”
The 79-year-old lived alone, and her children and grandchildren visited her frequently. Nondumiso said he could not remove the image of her mother’s body from her mind.
“I do not know how will I forget what I saw. She was burnt on the upper body, her thighs and legs also had burn wounds. The fire did not go to other rooms, only her bedroom burnt.”
She believed that the person who set her mother alight did so to get rid of evidence.
“I am hoping that the police will work hard to catch my mother’s killer. How can a person rape such an old woman like that? Is this is what we have become as a society?”
Siya Monakali from Ilitha Labantu, an organisation that fights for women and children’s rights, said those found guilty of murdering women and children should face harsher sentences.
“This is a sad state of affairs because in the past weekend there were three cases of femicide in Khayelitsha alone. As an organisation, we are deeply concerned by the spike in gender-based violence and femicide in the townships of the Western Cape, and call for stronger action to be taken to bring to book perpetrators of violence against women.
“We also appeal to our justice system to impose harsher sentences on suspects for GBVF; our justice system is our greatest ally in the fight to end this scourge. We will work closely with the police in Khayelitsha to help break the silence on violence against women plaguing the community,” Monakali said.
Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said police the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death were being investigated.
“Lingelethu West police are investigating a murder case after the body of a woman was found by her daughter in her residence in Kusile Street, Lingelethu West on Saturday at about 11.15pm. Circumstances surrounding her death are under investigation. A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
“Anyone with any information about this incident is kindly requested to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.”