Swim ends in tragedy for eMachibini teenagers

Swim ends in tragedy for eMachibini teenagers

A 16-year-old teenager, Zanomusa Mdluli lost his life while swimming with friends in a dam in eMachibini, KwaZulu-Natal.

His friend, Njabulo Mbhamali, says they tried rescuing Mdluli when they realised that he was drowning.

However, they had to abandon their efforts as they started losing breath under water and also almost drowned.

The K9 unit was called in to assist rescue Mdluli but  police spokesperson Senzo Gumede says the teenager had already died upon their arrival. – Report by Maputaland Radio News reporter, Sduduzo Mathenjwa

Pongola community seething over police officer’s murder sentence

Pongola community seething over police officer’s murder sentence

The community of Ncotshane in Pongola near Ngwavuma, in KwaZulu-Natal, is hopping mad over a 15-year prison sentence handed down to police detective, Mxolisi Donda.

Donda shot Sifiso Sithole, popularly known as Jobe of Pongola in Ncotshane, during a row over parking. Sithole was shot with two bullets and died on the scene.

The magistrate who presided over the case slammed Donda for not having shown remorse since the beginning of the trial.

Sithole’s family and the community are, nonetheless, unhappy about the sentence given to him.

The deceased’s relatives were overcome with grief after the sentence was handed down and were unable to elaborate on their feelings.

Community members on the other hand warned that the leniency shown towards Donda could lead them to take the law into their own hands.

 Gebhu Ntuli from Ncotshane was with Sithole when he was murdered.

Ntuli says his friend was killed for nothing.

He has refuted claims that Donda and Sithole had engaged in a scuffle, which led the police officer to use his gun.

Ntuli says he doesn’t understand how some people convicted of lesser crimes than that of murder are sentenced to life in prison, while Donda gets away with a slap in the wrist. – Report by Maputaland Radio News reporter, Archurah Beula.

Family reeling from shock as jilted relative takes own life

Family reeling from shock as jilted relative takes own life

Sebenzani “Mbube” Sithole’s family in kwaHlabisa Township in Qubukani, northern KwaZulu-Natal, is left with questions after the 24-year-old man fatally shot himself.

The deceased’s brother, Mvuzeni Khanyile, says he was shocked when the mother of Sithole’s child called him in the middle of the night to inform him about the tragedy.

“When we got to Ximbakazi’s place – he had already passed on. We then called the police. We are shocked as we don’t know him as a person who had problems,” says Khanyile.

Sithole’s former girlfriend says it has been a while since they severed their relationship and she was not aware that he was in the area.

“I wasn’t shocked when he just appeared in the window of my bedroom because he was used to doing that,” she says.

“He first said I must shoot myself and I told him to be the one to do it. He then bumped both our heads and I went down. The next thing I saw the room changing colour to greenish. Then he just fell down,” Thando Sokhela adds. She says she had broken up with Sithole because she was tired of his abusive ways. – Report by Maputaland FM journalist, Nokubongwa Xaba.

Rains boost KZN dam levels, but province not out of the woods yet

Rains boost KZN dam levels, but province not out of the woods yet

While acknowledging the pain and hardship the rains has brought to some, the Mhlathuze Water, a company that cleans and supplies bulk water to various district municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, says the recent rains in the province have improved dam levels in the province.

Mhlathuze Water spokesperson, Siyabonga Maphumulo, the two dams they use to supply residents, namely the Goedetrow Dam and the Pongola Port Dam, are however not out of the woods yet.

“Goedetrow Dam has risen to 67.6 million cubic metres and last week it was 66.7 million cubic metres last year while at the same time it was 52.8 million cubic metres and the most famous Pongola Port Dam with Jozini Dam 51 million cubic metres last week it was 48.4 million cubic metres last year it was 43.9 million cubic meters,” he says.

Maphumulo is urging residents to continue using water sparingly.

“We are urging our people to work on water so that we can have it for a long time and those who can afford to pay their water bills must please do so that our municipalities can fix the infrastructure. But for those who don’t know, remember that water is a very important weapon as we face the COVID-19 epidemic, where we desperately need a drop and a drop that means nothing to each person,” Maphumulo concludes.

KwaZulu-Natal recovering from drought that some had described as having been the worst in 100 years.

Authorities have previously said the province would need weeks and weeks of sustained rainfall to refill its fast declining water reservoirs to return to water levels considered safe and sustainable.

Man turns himself in after hacking his wife to death in KZN

Man turns himself in after hacking his wife to death in KZN

The man who hacked his wife to death with a bush-knife in Thobothini, in the Jozini area of KwaZulu-Natal, returns to court on Tuesday.

He appeared briefly in the Ingwavuma Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Themba Menyana attacked his wife, Thembi Nyawo (49), while at her neighbour’s house.

Philisiwe Nkomonde says the suspect hacked her first and proceeded to a man they were sitting with in the house, before killing his wife.

“I still do not know how to explain what happened to me. I am still in hospital fighting for my life with something I do not know,” says Nkomonde.

She says Menyana was upset that Nyawo had an affair of which she knew nothing about.

The husband had apparently found out about it after hacking the deceased’s phone.

“Now I am being blamed for something I don’t know. People think I knew that she had an affair. All I know is that Manyawo didn’t want her husband anymore because he was unfaithful and cheating on her. She stayed because of her children. Manyawo died for her children. She would have been out of the marriage for a long time, but for the sake of the children, she stayed,” Nkomonde says.

While blasting social media for distorting facts on the story, Nkomonde also urged women not to stay in abusive relationships because of their children.

Police spokesperson Captain Titus Nsibande says Menyana is the one who notified the police about the tragedy.

He will return to court on Tuesday.

Heavy rains, flooding rivers disrupt funeral services in KZN

Heavy rains, flooding rivers disrupt funeral services in KZN

Heavy rains continued to wreak havoc in northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.

Some bereaved families couldn’t even bury their loved ones due to flooding rivers.

Raging waters flooded a local bridge, cut off the village of Ophaphasi, in Hlabisa.

The Ngcamu family was forced to return the remains of their relative to a mortuary on Saturday after failing to make their way home.

They tried using the kwaNongoma route to get home, but it was the same issue as bridges in Nzimaneni, iWela and Mankankaneni were also overflowing due to the persistent rains.

On Sunday, the family tried again insisting – they will use all possible means in their disposal to ensure that their loved one is finally laid to rest.

Heavy rains have been lashing parts of the province for weeks now, leaving hundreds of homes in Ophongola and Jozini areas damaged.

Heavy rains cut off some Northern Cape villages

Heavy rains cut off some Northern Cape villages

Heavy rains have wreaked havoc in parts of the Northern Cape.

Premier Dr Zamani Saul says the John Taolo Gaetsewe District is the worst affected.

In a tweet, the premier says some villages in the area are completely cutoff.

“We are on the ground distributing food parcels to these affected areas with the help of SANDF. We are busy finalising our plans to restore the damaged roads,” he concludes.

The Northern Cape is one of several provinces in the country that have been pounded by persistent rains.

In Mpumalanga, more than eight people drowned in overflowing rivers, dams and streams.

Mbombela and Nkomazi have been severely affected with houses and road infrastructure badly damaged.

Members of communities in northern KwaZulu-Natal have also lost homes to the heavy rains.

Njokweni family in dire straits following house collapse, loss of life

Njokweni family in dire straits following house collapse, loss of life

The Njokweni family in Mboza, KwaZulu-Natal, has been dealt a double blow following the collapse of the wall of the house, which claimed gogo Agrennet Gumede (80).

Heavy rains, fanned by strong winds, caused the collapse.

Speaking to Matubaland FM news, gogo Gumede’s grandson Xolani Dlamini says the 80-year-old passed away in hospital after the incident.

He says gogo’s son, who had been sick for a while, also lost his battle with life on the same day his mother passed on.

Gogo Gumede was sitting with her daughter Perret Njokweni (58) when the wall of the house collapsed on them.

Njokweni is in a critical condition at Ngwelezane Hospital.

“While my aunt managed to escape – gogo couldn’t. Neighbours came out to assist the family and we called an ambulance which came and took them to hospital,” says Dlamini.

Ward 13 councillor, where the incident occurred, John Gwala has warned the community to be careful when it rains.

He says no other incidents have been reported in the area, other than the Njokweni tragedy.

Pongola community seething over police officer’s murder sentence

Mtubatuba woman wants justice following false kidnap accusation

A woman who was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a six-day-old infant in Mtubatuba in Mfekayi, KwaZulu-Natal, wants justice.

Thulisile Mfekayi also wants the child’s family to apologise for the pain and humiliation they have caused her.

She is accusing the child’s father of previously threating to burn her house down.

The boy, Nhlakanipho Gumede, is now nine years old and was found in Daveyton’s Emaphupheni section, in Johannesburg last year.

Mfekayi says Gumede’s parents must apologise to the Chief and the Mkhwanazi dynasty for their actions.

“This issue traumatised me and now that the child has been found – they haven’t even said anything to me. They hunted me down and even tried hacking me despite my insistence that I had nothing to do with their child’s disappearance. They even involved the police. I never ran away because I knew I was innocent,” she says.

The child’s mother, Fikelephi Mpotshane, says they were desperate to find the child that they even confused things.

She says a community member who was assisting them with the search for their child had fingered Mfekayi.

However, when she did tell the police that Mfekayi was not the culprit.

She says Mfekayi is not the only one who was suspected of the kidnap.

Mpotshane says once the court case for the woman who is now in custody for the boy’s kidnap is finalised – her family will sit down and decide on how to handle the matter.

Law expert, Professor Xolani Zikhali, is advising Mfekayi to get a lawyer and sue the state for wrongful arrest.

House demolishing in Mpumpula sparks fears of violence

House demolishing in Mpumpula sparks fears of violence

The community of Mpumpula in Duvela, kwaCeza, in KwaZulu-Natal is irate after White people destroyed a home that was still under construction.

One of the men claims the land in which the community is building houses belongs to his family.

However, residents have rejected this as false.

They say they were given permission to build on the land by the authorities.

They say even the woman’s whose home has now been destroyed was given the green light at a meeting between the White man, the community and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

The land, they say, is under the guardianship of chief Buthelezi from the Mpithimpithini community.

The owner of the demolished structure, Nkosingiphile Mnguni, says she wishes to die following the incident, especially since her property was destroyed despite her having a permit to build in the area.

Residents say police officers accompanied the White men when they carried out their act.

A relative of the affected woman, Nduduzo Mnguni, says the police officers also shot and injured one community member.

Ward 4 councillor, Manyomfana Masondo, from the Ulundi Municipality is calling for an intervention. “We urge those who can intervene in this matter to help us. I see this issue getting out of hand and the community is angry.”

The area in the eye of the storm is a former game reserve.

The man who claims to be the owner of the land was in a process of destroying other homes in the community.

However, residents are adamant this won’t happen.