By Andile Nsibande | 2020-09-16
A jilted man shocked many when he took his frustration out on his family, threatening them with death.
The 25-year-old man was apparently bitter that he had broken up with his girlfriend, whom he suspected had been influenced by his family to end their relationship.
Ayanda Sacolo reportedly arrived at his homestead in the wee hours of yesterday, at around 1am, while his family members were dead asleep. He forced entry into the locked main house where his mother had slept with four other family members.
Once inside, he allegedly took out a bag packed with his clothes and emptied it on a sofa. He then sprinkled an inflammable substance before lighting up, using matches. He then proceeded to where his mother Anna Sacolo was sleeping with the other children and demanded an explanation as to why his girlfriend had decided to leave him.
The woman would later tell the police that her son had suspected that she might have swayed the woman’s thoughts about him.
She disclosed that her son wanted everyone burnt inside the house because he felt he had been let down. When the mother tried to beg him not to burn down the house, the man became furious and started banging everything before setting the house on fire.
According to a source, at that moment everyone inside the house had become terrified to the extent that they were afraid to shout out for help because the man had turned violent.
“After making sure that everything was in flames, the incensed man fled and disappeared into the thickness of the night.
“It was only after the family members were convinced that the man was no longer in the house that they started making attempts to escape. Even then, they could not go for the door because the whole house had already caught fire,” the source stated.
However, they managed to escape through a window in their bedroom, which fortunately had been the only one in the house which did not have burglar bars. Only the mother and a young boy are said to have sustained injuries while trying to escape from the burning house.
The neighbours also watched helplessly as the house was burning down. Apparently, everyone was scared to move any closer because they were uncertain about the man’s intentions and whereabouts. They were afraid that he might attack and kill them since it was still dark.
Police and fire-fighters were called in to assist, but they arrived late such that there was nothing to save from the house. The occupants were only left with the clothes they were wearing as all household items and clothes were reduced to ashes.
“The damaged property was estimated to be around E112 300, according to a family member who appealed to members of the public to assist them in whatever way possible,” it was disclosed.
The incident was confirmed by Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, when contacted yesterday.
She indicated that the culprit was later handed over to the police after residents managed to capture him, following a manhunt that was launched by the community members.
Vilakati hinted that the man could face possible charges of attempted murder and malicious injury to property.
“His arraignment is expected soon once police investigations have been concluded. The suspect is detained at the Gege Police Station,” she said.
Meanwhile, in an almost similar incident, another man is alleged to have stormed a homestead around Dumenkhungwini area and set a hut alight.
This reportedly took place in broad daylight on Monday. The man is said to have arrived at the homestead at around 3pm while in a questionable state of sobriety.
Once at the homestead, the man allegedly did not speak to anyone, but proceeded straight to one of the huts within the compound and set it alight using matches.
He then quickly dashed away before he could be questioned for his actions. Fortunately, there were people in the vicinity who were able to recognise him. But by that time, the damage had already been done. Smoke was coming out of the hut, while visible flames had already engulfed it by then.
Witnesses said the same man had been earlier spotted while enjoying traditional brew at a local homestead, in the company of other community members.
“The man’s actions left everyone in the area confused, and residents were unanimous about the need to do something about the alcoholic beverages sold in some of the homesteads situated around the area,” disclosed a source.
Police were called to the scene and they subsequently launched an investigation based on information provided by the people who were interviewed.
Superintendent Vilakati also confirmed the incident when sought for comment.
Vilakati said the matter was subject to an ongoing investigation, while the suspect was still at large.
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