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Argument over girlfriend leads to alleged kidnapping and murder

Two men accused of murder appeared in the Kriel Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The suspects allegedly kidnapped the victim and set him alight.


Image via Adobe Stock

Two suspects accused of kidnapping and burning a 35-year-old man alive appeared in the Kriel Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 3 May, for murder.

One of the suspects allegedly confessed that he kidnapped and murdered the victim over an argument concerning a girlfriend.


According to police, the accused Themba Bongani Mziyakho kidnapped the victim on 28 April with the help of his co-accused, Vusi Sibande. They later took the victim to a secluded area where Mziyakho poured petrol on the victim and set him alight, “strangling the victim” when he realised he was still breathing. The body was later dumped in a local river.

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the victim’s family reported him missing at Kriel Police station on 30 April.

“Whilst the police were probing his disappearance, a man suddenly approached police on Sunday, 2 May 2021 where he reportedly confided in them that he had kidnapped the missing man with the assistance of another man. He further told police that he had set him alight out of anger over a girlfriend,” said Hlathi.

The accused later led police to where the alleged murder occurred.

“When police arrived at the scene, they made a gruesome discovery of the man’s charred remains.”


Police in Mpumalanga say they are concerned that people prefer violence or deadly altercations to resolve disputes.

“This is a trend which started some time ago and it is concerning as many people are losing their lives as a result. Some even go to an extent of hiring hitmen (Izinkabi) to eliminate their opponents,” said Hlathi.

He added that the deadly behaviour has a negative impact on families.

 “Anger, jealousy and greed seem to be the root cause of this problem; hence people are urged to tolerate each other and settle disputes in an amicable manner.”

The suspects are expected back court on 10 May for a formal bail application.

Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thulani Phahla, strongly condemned the murder.

“Our society is facing a serious psychological challenge of uncontrollable anger. They no longer communicate amicably to resolve differences but use deadly violence instead and this is a matter the society should be all concerned about,” said Phahla.

READ: Businessman’s kidnappers sentenced to ten years in jail