MEC TO DISCUSS VILLAGE DEATHS: DAILY DISPATCH

LOCAL government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane will meet with Amathole District Municipality (ADM) officials today regarding the high number of deaths of women and children in a Transkei village.

Qoboshiyane said he had noted with concern how women and children of Tholeni village near Butterworth were increasingly falling prey to “criminal syndic due to “a shortage of lighting in the village at night”.

This follows an attack two weeks ago that claimed the lives of two children and left two other villagers injured.

Women and children of mainly female headed households have since been leaving their homes at night to seek refuge elsewhere.

Some members of the traumatised community believe a serial killer is on the loose.

Police said they were the murders.

Since 2008, 20 people have been killed in the village – 19 of whom were hacked to death with a panga.

In 2011 ADM erected floodlights in the village in an effort to combat the high number of murders taking place, however, they were never switched on.

Qoboshiyane said: “The crime in that area requires electricity and lighting because villagers can’t even identify the perpetrators as it is dark at night.”

The MEC said the village was under the jurisdiction of Eskom and he would today liaise with the power parastatal to ensure the matter of lighting in the area was attended to urgently.

Qoboshiyane confirmed he had received a communiqué from

Veliswa Mvenya a DA member of the Eastern Cape provincial legislature asking him to intervene in the matter.

Mvenya yesterday said she had written to the MEC since he was responsible for overseeing progress in all provincial municipalities.

“As more women and children continue to be murdered I had to ask the MEC what he was doing with the issue of lights in that village,” she said.

Mvenya said half of the murders could have been avoided.

“Police who were deployed in the area to patrol the place in the prime of the murders in 2010 did not receive enough support and they later left,” she said.

Mvenya said police members had complained of being cold as they had no station to sit in and were also left without food. — zwangam@dispatch.co.za