‘Find my sister’s killer’

THE sister of a Grade 12 pupil who was burnt to death along with her 4-year-old child, has expressed concern that the police have been unable to catch her sister’s alleged killer.

A warrant was issued in the North Gauteng High Court for the arrest of Jan Jankie Manzini, 27, of Kamsogwaba Trust outside Nelspruit after Manzini failed to attend his trial for the second time in a row.

Manzini has pleaded not guilty to murdering Maskudu Mugwena, 23, and her 4-year-old daughter Ndhivhuwo in Mamelodi in December 2008.

The State alleges Manzini had doused the house in which Mugwena and her daughter were sleeping with petrol before setting it alight, causing mother and child to burn to death.

The two were sleeping in the house of Mugwena’s older sister Maggy, who was previously involved in a relationship with Manzini but terminated the affair a few months before the incident.

Manzini allegedly made numerous “silent calls” to Maggy before the murder until she switched off her cellphone. He thereafter allegedly set Maggy’s shack alight thinking she was sleeping there.

Maggy Mugwena yesterday said she just wanted the police to find Manzini so that the trial could be concluded.

“Every time I come here I’m reminded of my younger sister and her little one. It opens up all of the old wounds again.

“…I’m worried about him (Manzini), but I just believe that God will protect me.

“I just want this over,” she said.

She and Manzini had met in 2006 while both were studying law at Unisa, but she broke up with him because of his aggression.

She said he had assaulted and threatened her before and she believed the attack in which her younger sister and her little niece died had been meant for her.

Her sister and niece had been visiting her for the holiday, but all of them were supposed to sleep at their older sister’s place because of Manzini’s threats.

Maggy said the murder charges were also initially withdrawn against Manzini because the state said there was not enough evidence against him.

She thereafter made representations to the National Prosecuting Authority, but had to wait until January this year before her sister’s alleged killer finally went on trial, only for him to disappear before judgment could be delivered.


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