Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

NHLANGANO – Four people were hacked and killed by a mob at Nkonka, an area under Matsanjeni South, in the Shiselweni Region.

It was established that the four were among a group of men who were wanted by the residents in connection with a string of housebreaking and robberies in the area. It was said that the area was plagued by a crime wave, mostly targeting shops and bars. The latest robberies occurred over the past weekend, where about 10 businesses and homes were attacked. In one of the incidents, an elderly woman was hacked with a bush knife on her back by people who were demanding money from her. The elderly woman is currently admitted to Matsanjeni Health Centre.


Other victims were workers of the health centre and textile firms who live in rented flats around Matsanjeni. In yet another incident, a block of rental flats in Matsanjeni was broken into and tenants were robbed of cellphones and money, among other things. According to sources within the area, the culprits did not hide their faces when committing the crimes, which made it easy for the community to identify them. It was also established that a former Member of Parliament (MP) in the same area was also attacked and injured by the gang, who demanded money from him.


A resident also revealed that the criminals broke into a Khumalo homestead and demanded money. They were able to get away with E8 000 cash and the family members’ cellphones, among other valuables. This was confirmed by a relative to the family. Most of these incidents are said to have happened last weekend. In some cases, it was revealed that the thieves stole clothes that were on the washing line. It was said that some shops, mostly owned by businesspeople of Asian origin, had to close down amid the robberies which occurred on a monthly basis. In one instance, it was said that the thugs fetched some of the businessmen who owned shops from their homes and ordered them to open the business premises and surrender money to them. It was said that all the robberies were conducted at gunpoint while others were carrying bush knives.

Last Saturday, sources claimed that while the criminals were attacking the tenants at Matsanjeni; one of them (criminals) was stabbed by people living in the flats and had to go to hospital. “That is how one of them was spotted by the police and was taken in for questioning,” narrated the sources. Gathered information was that the names of the people involved in the alleged robberies were leaked to the residents of the area, who then held a meeting on Sunday. It was during this meeting, which was held at a secret location, that the residents reached a conclusion that the people behind the robberies were to be found immediately and dealt with.

One of the deceased, Mfanawenkhosi Geremy Mhlanga (34), was seen walking past one of the shops, suspected to be headed to his home, when he was called by a group of people who questioned him about the robberies in the area. While attempting to respond to some of the questions, he was doused with petrol and set alight on the spot. It was said that people who were close-by heard a man who was crying for help while engulfed in flames. He burnt to death. The sources further stated that the mob continued to another homestead where they knocked on the door and requested for another suspect. In one of the homesteads, the mob was told that the wanted person was not home, which was when the homestead was set alight. “They thought the family was hiding the suspect. They were of the idea that the suspect would come out should the house be set alight. Unfortunately, it transpired that he (suspect) was actually not home,” narrated the source.

At the homestead of another deceased, Sikhanyiso ‘Gazi’ Mngomezulu (24), his grandmother, Fikile Shiba, narrated that the mob came at night and told her that they wanted her grandson. She shared that she disputed knowledge of his whereabouts and while they were talking, the deceased came out from another house trying to run away but was caught by the mob. The mob then told Mngomezulu to bid his grandmother goodbye, which he did. “He came and said sala kahle gogo (goodbye grandmother), then they dragged him away,” she narrated.


Shiba narrated that she heard him crying for help as they left, while adding that the mob was hacking him with bush knives even before they left with him. Thembeni Shiba, on the other hand, learnt about her son Bonginkhosi Shiba’s death from a neighbour, who came to inform her while she was in the company of the police. She said what she got from the neighbour was that she heard a voice of a man crying for help and when she stepped out after some time; she heard voices and saw a fire which was when she got closer to see what was happening.


When the neighbour got closer to the fire, she noticed two bodies that were burning and was able to identify the faces. While at the scene, it was said that a police van arrived, which was when she was taken to Thembeni where the news was relayed to her. The other body found with that of Bonginkhosi’s was that of Fanele Shabangu (33). Sources revealed that Shabangu was taken from a friend’s home by the mob. They shared that they took him to the sports ground where he was put next to Shabangu and also set alight. Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the incidents. She confirmed that the four (suspects) were set alight by a mob and that they were wanted by the police for cases of robberies in the area. Vilakati further confirmed that there were homes that were torched by the mob in the process and that no arrests had been made at the time of going to print.

Comments (0 posted):

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image:

: PLE chairmanship
Should foreign nationals be allowed to lead the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE)?