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MALKERNS – The still of the night was disturbed by the sound of rubbers bullets and teargas canisters which were fired by the police as angry community members bayed for the blood of one of the community members, her husband and assistant.

The community members of Esithomo, a squatter settlement situated in the outskirts of Malkerns Township, are said to have allegedly caught red-handed, an elderly woman, whom they suspected to be conducting acts which, however, could not be substantiated, just after midnight on Tuesday.


Sources close to the matter alleged that before the squabble started on the night, there were suspicions among the residents that the elderly woman, her husband and another man who was the woman’s assistant in her consultation room were allegedly conducting some acts that could not be proved.

The sources said despite the fact that the allegations were everywhere in the area, the community members could not take any actions against them because they did not have evidence to prove it.
They alleged it was until Tuesday night, just after midnight, when they got a chance to react after some of them allegedly caught the elderly woman half-naked and carrying a bucket.


“This incident took place about a stone’s throw from the elderly woman’s home,’’ the sources alleged.
Thereafter, they said the community members who allegedly saw the woman and her alleged assistant raised the alarm and others dashed out of their houses to witness what was happening.
Upon seeing that it was the elderly woman, whom they suspected of many things in the community, the sources said it was recommended that the duo should be handed over to the community police.

They said in the morning, the community police took the elderly woman and her alleged assistant to Malkerns Police Station and asked the residents to also come with them to record statements which would be used as evidence later on.


However, the source alleged that while the police were talking to the woman, they asked her about the whereabouts of her husband and she told them that he was at their home.
“Her response seemed to have sparked anger among the community members as they threatened to go and fetch him,” the sources alleged.
However, the sources alleged that the police warned them against doing so and also told them that after the talks, the elderly woman should be released to go back to her husband.

“The community members responded by protesting at the police station and by the public road. As they were becoming rowdy by throwing rubbish on the public road while singing protest songs, the police fired several teargas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse them,” the sources alleged.
After being dispersed by the police, the sources said the community members regrouped later on and stormed the elderly woman’s home where they allegedly attacked her husband. They also vandalised property, including their bedroom. 


Meanwhile, the sources revealed that some community members rolled big logs of fallen tress to the road leading to the woman’s home in a bid to block the police cars from reaching the place.
Later on, the sources said the police arrived and rescued the man from the crowd by firing more teargas canisters and rubber bullets towards the crowd. Thereafter, the man was also taken to the police station.

When this publication visited the elderly woman’s home yesterday, two armed police officers were found guarding it. One was armed with a rifle while the other was carrying a teargas gun and canisters.
Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Khulani Mamba confirmed the incident and said the police were still investigating it.

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