Motherwell family live in fear after attack by mob on their home.
Thirteen members of a Motherwell family narrowly escaped death when their home was petrol bombed after a memorial service for the eldest son, who was allegedly burnt to death by an angry mob pursuing his younger brother.
The petrol bomb attack, which was the culmination of a series of violent incidents, has also highlighted deep concerns over initiates being assaulted if they fail to correctly answer questions about manhood.
The Ncamiso family, who are still reeling from the brutal murder of Sinethemba, 24, on Sunday, were terrified when the mob toyi-toyied and sang threatening songs outside their Kamvelihle home before the attack on Tuesday night.
The mob’s actions came after a brawl between initiates at a tavern on Saturday when one initiate was allegedly assaulted by Sinethemba’s younger brother, Siyamcela, 21, and a friend only known as Tshepo, after the initiate failed to respond correctly to questions about manhood.
Later, Siyamcela allegedly assaulted the initiate’s father who the Ncamiso family claim stormed their home on Sunday morning and attacked the parents with a hammer.
Father Mzwakhe, 46, said he was awoken on Sunday by noise in his house.
“When I went to the front, there was a man who had a hammer and he threatened to assault my wife, Nontembiso, with it.
“I tried to stop him but he hit me with the hammer.
“That is when Siyamcela and his friend came to my rescue and they started fighting with the man.
“They were stopped by police who were driving in the area and the two [Siyamcela and his friend] were arrested for assault,” Mzwakhe said.
“In the afternoon, Sinethemba was sent to buy airtime. We became worried when he took long and went to look for him.
“We were told he was taken away by a group of men with pangas. They allegedly hacked him with pangas and forced him to drink petrol before setting him alight.”
On Tuesday, Siyamcela and his friend were released on R500 bail each, but Mzwakhe said he had to send his son to a place of safety as they feared further attacks.
“On Tuesday night, we heard a mob of people singing and threatening to burn Siyamcela,” he said.
“They were stopped by the police.
“At 11pm the mob came back again. They threw two petrol bombs in my house which was followed by stone throwing.
“I don’t know what is going to happen, our lives are at risk.”
It is common practice for fresh initiates to quiz each other on the intricacies of manhood learnt during their time in the bush.
iNkosi Jongisilo Pokwana ka Menziwa, an oral historian, said while emphasis concerning initiation had been mainly focused on the problem of deaths and escapes from initiation schools, the biggest concern now was this trend.
“This trend is ukudodisana, which means testing one’s state of manhood. This questioning is a mystery to many elders,” Ka Menziwa said.
“It is through this questioning and excruciating examination that those who fail will be fined a bottle of brandy if one is lucky, but dismal failures are sentenced [demoted] to boyhood or even a status between boyhood and manhood.”
Once they had been demoted, there would be those wanting to inflict physical pain on them, he said.
Prince Manene Tabane, a member of the national executive committee of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) said such cases had to be immediately reported to the police.
“Ukudodisana is not part of the culture of ulwaluko [initiation],” Tabane said.
Police spokesman Constable Mncedi Mbombo said people should stop taking the law into their own hands.
– Yoliswa Sobuwa