Gran’s home gutted over witchcraft rumours


DURBAN, South Africa – An Inanda family were left traumatised after their home was set alight on Sunday allegedly because the community suspected the homeowner practised witchcraft.This was according to home owner Buselaphi Ngcobo’s grandson, Petros Mnyende, who said events escalated on Friday evening after Ngcobo was told her neighbour’s house had been broken into and she went to alert the community.

“At that point a child claimed my grandmother was performing invocation to put a curse on her and she notified the community.”

Inanda gran's home gutted over witchcraft rumours

The community then mobilised to attack the 77-year-old woman. Mnyende and his uncle took Ngcobo to relatives for her safety.

On Saturday night, Mnyende said that he and his uncle were sleeping in a separate building when they were made aware of two suspicious individuals lurking around the main house.

“We saw people pouring petrol on the side of the house and we managed to chase them away. We went back to sleep only to be awakened in the early hours of Sunday morning by screams that the main house was on fire,” Myende recalled.

Four children were sleeping in the main house and although they were unscathed, the house and the items in it were severely damaged.

Mnyende was stunned that the incident occurred and discredited accusations that his grandmother practised witchcraft.

“This has been devastating for us. We lost everything in the fire. What makes things worse is that my grandmother hasn’t been told about it due to fears of how she may react because of her advanced age.”

Ward Councillor Wiseman Nyaba condemned the incident and warned the community against acting on unfounded suspicions.

“People should stop accusing one another when they don’t have evidence. I hope calmer heads will prevail in future and that people won’t jump to conclusions and put people’s lives in danger over rumours.”

A case of arson is being investigated by Inanda SAPS.


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