Torching of houses in Mt Ayliff leaves one dead and sixteen behind bars


Police in Mount Ayliff have confirmed the arrest of 16 suspects, aged between 25 and 30, on charges of arson and malicious damage to property following the burning several houses in Lubaleko on Thursday morning.

In a statement, police spokeswoman Colonel Sibongile Soci said community members allegedly started burning the house of the Headman shortly after 09h00, at which the torching of other houses began. Soci said police, who were on the scene to restore order, were pelted with stones resulting in the damage of several police vehicles.

She said officers fired rubber bullets to disperse the gathered crowds, at which point children from the nearby Lubaleko Senior Secondary School started leaving their classes to support residents.

“Police members reported hearing gun shots and realised it came from the group of people who were at side of the Headman's house. Upon investigation, it was found that one learner was fatally wounded and another wounded and taken to hospital in a critical but stable condition,” Soci said.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Mount Ayliff Magistrate Court soon on charges of arson and malicious damage to property.