My family is not a wealthy family and I have learned to accept the fact that whatever comes to the table should be accepted!

Two years ago my mom started selling clothes that she got from a recycling company called ‘WILDLANDS’, she has been working with this company for eight years now. We started selling them around my small and not so high classed community of ours.

When my mom and I started walking around and selling she somehow met a family of two which was an old lady called ‘MaMsiya’ from Lesotho probably in her late sixties and an old man called ‘Mkhulu Memela’ from KwaZulu Natal in Hammersdale probably in his early seventies.

This couple owned three(izitendi) pieces of land which they built a number of rooms in and leased it to homeless people who didn’t own any land. Their source of income was from receiving a social grant and by leasing out the rooms.

My mom had given them clothes on credit, we were going to collect the money on the first Sunday of March.

My mom and I woke up on that Sunday morning and got ourselves to go to MASONS(the nearby informal settlements).When we were walking past the old couples house we noticed MaMsiya standing with a mob of people near the fence and there was one guy wearing(isivatho) a Zion church outfit he was busy accusing MaMsiya and Mkhulu of witchcraft and said that he saw muthi and a baby’s hand in a hole in their yard, MaMsiya was being questioned and she did not plead guilty to any of the allegations instead she repeatedly denied any knowledge of it. We decided to start at my mom’s friend’s house because we didn’t want to disturb them.

When we were heading home because my mom had suggested we collect the money on the following weekend, as we walked quietly on the noisy streets of Copesville I insisted that we go check on Mkhulu Memela and MaMsiya because they earlier looked scared and terrified.

The mob had cleared out and there were only dogs barking when we arrived we arrived at the couple’s home. We went straight to their three roomed house, Mkhulu welcomed us and they began to tell us the whole story of them being accused of witchcraft and murder and that the community members said they should be killed for murdering a baby and using its body parts for muthi that was going to attract customers for their recently opened alcohol business.

As we walked out a police van had parked outside their yard and the guy that earlier accused them started walking towards the hole which he claimed had a baby’s hand with the police, they gathered evidence and told MaMsiya and Mkhulu that they were taking the evidence to a forensic lab and they would return the results which will illustrate if it really is a baby’s hand. Immediately after the van left people started swearing and threatening the old couple.

Night came and the couple felt unsafe when their house was suddenly set alight, they tried to run away but they were caught and locked into the burning house.

A few days after their brutal death newspapers reported that the results proved that the object claimed to be a hand was actually a plastic flower decoration which was thrown in a hole dug for dirt.

The story above proves that my community is unsafe and very dangerous because an innocent old couple was murdered by their community members only because of a false accusation from their competitor.