The family of two women who were burnt to death at Ngonyameni village in EmaXesibeni, formerly known as Mt Ayliff in the Eastern Cape, have been left distraught. The women were accused of practicing witchcraft.

While 53-year old Nothethisa Ntshamba and her 33-year old sister, Ntombi Ndlanya, couldn’t escape, their children managed to flee when a mob vandalised and torched their homestead.

Ntshamba’s husband, Mpilo Ntshamba says he watched helplessly as his wife was beaten and set alight.

“They came in and beat us and I heard gunshots. We ran and went next door to hide at my neighbours place. From there I could see them burning my wife in the garden after they had beaten her up. They took her sister up the village and burnt her near a school. My wife and her sister were killed – and I couldn’t even come and save her, but I could hear she was getting beaten before she was set alight.”

Police have condemned the incident.

Spokesperson Zilungile Nkamba has called on communities to consult their traditional leaders when they have differences.

“According to the reports that the police received, the two women were accused of witchcraft which is not acceptable in the community, totally not acceptable. If the people are having differences they must sit down, talk to each other and solve their problems.”