Ntombizethu Ngcobo
Journalist
2 minute read
5 Jul 2022
07:08

KZN woman convicted of assault survives three arson attacks on her home

Ntombizethu Ngcobo

Ntombifuthi Gwiliza, who was released from prison in April after spending 13 months behind bars, is unsure whether these attacks are a form of revenge following the charges she was serving time for.


A Machibisa woman, in Pietermaritzburg, currently serving five years under house arrest for assault charges, has survived three arson attacks on her home within the past week.

Ntombifuthi Gwiliza, who was released from prison in April after spending 13 months behind bars, is unsure whether these attacks are a form of revenge following the charges she is serving time for.

In the first attempt, the arsonists tried to burn the door down, but Gwiliza managed to put the fire out. In the second fire, which occurred on Friday night, the door was completely burnt down. The last attempt was in the early hours of Monday morning.

Gwiliza, who was not at home when the incident occurred, said she and her sister’s children — aged between 17 and 19 — woke up to their room on fire around 1.30am.

They tried to find a way out of the burning house. All the furniture that was inside got burnt. Our lives are at stake now since these attacks continue happening. We don’t know what to do as we have nowhere else to go. This is the only home we have.

She said fortunately the attackers were unsuccessful as the incident happened a few minutes after she came back from the toilet.

“I just saw flames coming inside my bedroom and went outside to check. That is when I noticed that the door was on fire. I really don’t know the root cause of this or whether it is related to this case since I was released on April 25. We fear for our lives. We are lucky to be alive. I just need a new place to stay as I don’t know what is going to happen from now,” she added.

Ward councillor Sibongumusa Zuma said these acts are very concerning as most people from the area are disadvantaged.

“Most houses in this ward are not in a good condition. This is because many are unemployed. We have reported the matter to disaster management to ensure that this family receives assistance,” said Zuma.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Sifiso Gwala confirmed a case of malicious damage to property was opened for investigation. No arrests have been made yet.