Durban - Two families in Muden, Dundee, are grieving the loss of their loved ones - a young woman raped and strangled, and her alleged rapist who was stoned to death by the angry community.
Nothile Tshaba had spent the whole night studying for an exam but she did not write the following day. The Grade 10 pupil at Muden Combined Secondary was raped, and strangled with her tie just over a kilometre from the hall in which she was to sit the exam.
Her lifeless body was found on Thursday by the Pietermaritzburg K9 unit and a group of community members including her mother, Ntombithini Langa, who had been searching for the girl since Tuesday afternoon when she did not return from school.
The inconsolable Langa told the Sunday Tribune that she had become worried when her well-behaved daughter had not come home by 4pm.
“My Nothi has never been late. When she had not got home by 4pm, I was concerned. Schoolmates told me that she had not come to school, that’s when I knew something bad had happened.”
Nineteen-year-old Tshaba had decided to walk to school because she was writing at 11am and the pupil transport left at 7am. It was not the first time she had done this, according to her mother.
Langa said another girl had told the family that she had been accosted by a local man, 34-year-old Mkhuliseni Dladla, in the bush, on her way to school. “She said Nothi had been walking behind her but she had lost track of my daughter when she ran away from the man.
Dladla, who was called by the family, apparently told them he had pursued the girl for romance but when she refused him, he let her go.
Langa said she phoned Dladla’s mother and informed her that her son was a suspect as he had been the last person to see Nothile alive.
Dladla’s mother, Mathree Dladla joined the search for Tshaba who was found in the bush along the path to school.
Shortly afterwards, the mother of the suspect had a call from a neighbour telling her that he was in danger. “I heard Mkhuliseni screaming on the phone asking for help, I had left him alone at home and I immediately knew what was happening.”
“I was terrified, not because I thought he was guilty or innocent but because I loved my child. I was told that an angry mob took him from home, down the hill beating him, and then stoned him to death.”
It was not the first time Dladla had been accused of rape. According to his mother, the mother of Dladla’s child had laid a rape charge against him earlier this year.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane confirmed that Dladla had a pending rape case against him and he had been due to appear in court on June 24.
Nothile’s mother said she was struggling with her daughter’s death, “My child died in such a painful way, only because she wanted an education, I can’t help but imagine the pain she went through. The cruel rapist and murderer took away my baby, she was studying so hard to be a nurse, and I feel like I am being stabbed in the heart.”
Nothile’s teacher, Nomhlangano Zwane, described her as a willing and capable pupil. “I loved her because she was a hard worker and very respectful. The class and the school lost one of its stars.
“She spoke about wanting to be a nurse, it was her dream and now it won’t come true. Her classmates are not coping, all these kids are scared and in pain.”
The families will bury their children this week.
Alleged rapist killed by mob 12 Jun '16Tweet