The KZN MEC for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, has urged law enforcement agencies to investigate the murders of a female induna and three others in Charlestown in the Emadlangeni Local Municipality near Newcastle.
Induna Lucia Nonina Mahlaba (42) of the Shabalala Traditional Council in Emadlangeni was brutally attacked in her own home on Sunday night.
“It is with profound sadness that we have been informed of yet another act of violence directed towards one of our traditional leaders,” said Sithole-Moloi.
She explained that according to the information gathered by the department, four people: Mahlaba, her son Thando (22), a friend Asanda Zikhali (19) and a neighbour Mama Shonaphi Mbatha (50) who responded when the induna called for help, were killed during this disturbing act.
“It is alleged that an assailant attacked the family inside their residence in Charlestown. Induna Mahlaba tried to escape and called for assistance from her neighbour. However, the assailants persisted and fired shots at the neighbours who came to her aid. This resulted in the tragic death of Mama Mbatha as well,” she said.
Sithole-Moloi added it is deeply troubling that defenceless women and young men lost their lives in this manner.
“We commend the bravery of the neighbours who tried to help the Mahlaba family during this harrowing ordeal.”
She extended her heartfelt condolences to the Mahlaba, Mbatha, and Zikhali families, who have lost their loved ones in the brutal attack.
“We are also deeply concerned that this attack occurred just a few months after we lost Inkosi Khumalo and uNdlunkulu maDlamini from eMadlangeni who were also killed in a similar incident. Such disturbing incidents are instilling fear in our communities and threatening the stability of our traditional leadership institutions,” she said.
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