Villagers fear for their lives after killing

FIVE women from Mqanduli village in Transkei who have been accused of witchcraft are living in fear after a woman was murdered early on Sunday morning.

Nocupheni Ngoyana, 47, of Gotyibeni village died after two gunmen stormed into the rondavel in which she was sleeping and shot her at point blank range.

Mqanduli police spokesman Major Zamukulungisa Jozana said three spent cartridges were found at the scene. He said a case of murder had been opened and no arrests had been made.

Ngoyana, a mother of four, had been arrested in May 2011 along with fellow villager, 49-year-old Thobeka Titi. The arrest came after a young boy related to Ngoyana and his friends implicated her in a series of murders.

It is alleged the boys had told a village meeting attended by local police that Ngoyana had used the boys to sprinkle muti which had allegedly resulted in the mysterious deaths of at least five villagers since 2010.

The houses belonging to the two women were burnt down on the same day they were arrested by community members.

Four more houses belonging to other women living in the village have since been burnt down after they were accused of witchcraft.

Ngoyana and Titi remained in custody until they were released in December 2011 on bail. They then left the village for the Western Cape at the suggestion of social workers who feared for the women’s lives.

Ngoyana returned to the village last year and has lived there until her recent murder.

Police yesterday said the case against the woman had been withdrawn due to lack of evidence.

A family member of Ngoyana, Nobuntu Ngoyana, told the Daily Dispatch she was sleeping in an adjacent flat when two men stormed into their house and demanded to see Ngoyana .

After they were told she was not there, the killers proceeded to the rondavel where they found her sleeping and shot her.

Ngoyana will be buried tomorrow in the village. Social development MEC Pemmy Majodina said her department would cover the funeral costs. — /

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