Monday, May 16, 2011

Back home in Empangeni - Zululand a barbaric hanging

Empangeni - A northern KwaZulu-Natal businesswoman, her two sons and another woman were found hanged outside the front door of their third floor Empangeni flat on Saturday morning.

The bodies were found when a neighbour, living on the same floor, was leaving for work.

“It was about 06:45 when I found the bodies. I walked out my door and saw something hanging and without realising they were bodies, walked up to them.

“The shock still hasn’t set in,” said the neighbour, who asked not be named.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the building, on the corner of Union and Smith streets, with the hanging bodies being visible from the road until the police cordoned off the area and put up a screen.

Police spokesperson Captain Mbongeni Mdlalose said the police are investigating four counts of murder.

“There is a suspicion of foul play. The bodies will need to be inspected so that we can ascertain the time and cause of death,” said Mdlalose.

He said there were no signs that robbery could be a motive.

The deceased, the mother Zandile Zungu,46, her sons Mthokozisi, 24 and 19-year-old Zama, as well as a friend or relative, Soneli Mtshali, 32, all ran a catering business next to the block of flats.

With one flat between the neighbour and the Zungu family, the neighbour said neither he nor his wife heard any form of a struggle.

“There is a tavern across the road and on a Friday night it is exceptionally noisy. They were good, pleasant people.

"Every Tuesday, except this past Tuesday, they held a church meeting in their flat,” said the neighbour.

The sons, Mthokozisi, a part-time lifeguard, and Zama, who finished high school in 2010, were both studying.

uMhlathuze Municipality chief sport and recreation officer Shakir Hiraman, said Mthokozisi was “a good, decent person”.

“He had been working as a lifeguard for us during the busy seasons for the last three years.

“He was a good lifeguard and competent in the pool and ocean,” said Hiraman

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