Image via Flickr
Image via Flickr
Two Eastern Cape villages, the Tyeni and Gangatha in Port St Johns, are at war over livestock theft. According to eNCA, three locals have allegedly been killed and 30 homes have been burned to the ground over the past few weeks.
While the Gangatha villagers accuse the Tyeni people of livestock theft, a community leader by the name of Simon Mqambule, believes that the violent battle is just an act from a few wicked criminals. He believes that the war will not end until Eastern Cape police arrest the thieves and killers.
“I really wish for these Gangatha village thieves to be caught. These fights are not good. I want the thieves to be arrested,” Mqambule told eNCA.
An unnamed man from the village confirmed that his younger brother was shot dead before he was cut with a panga.
“A group of men arrived at our house carrying guns. They killed my younger brother with a gunshot before slaughtering him with a panga,” he said.
With the attacks occurring at night, families have urged women and children to sleep at neighbouring villages or hide in forests at night.
A local woman named Thembela Samsam said that a large group of unknown men torched two of her family’s houses in the Eastern Cape village with firebombs.
“A gang of violent men arrived and torched our two homes. The fire destroyed our food and clothing, as well as, many other belongings. We then ran away to cross the river,” Samsam said.
The attacks have since forced the Samsam family and other groups from the same Eastern Cape village to regularly meet in the early evenings and go hide in the forest.
Another local woman said she is forced to sleep in the bushes despite her ill health.
“I am not in good health. We sleep outside in the cold and rain. I have heart disease and short breath,” she said.
A village leader says that the livestock war between the two Eastern Cape villages has been long-running. He believes that the violence can only end if law officials step forward, while the Eastern Cape government should lend assistance to rebuild the destroyed homes.
Meanwhile, police stations are said to be remote from the two Eastern Cape villages but a case of murder has been opened.