Friends Sibusiso Ngema and Mmeli Mbatha met a woman at a tavern and soon realised that they were both developing a romantic interest in her.
Their rivalry over the woman led to a falling out of astronomical proportions.
As a result, six houses were burnt down and a man accused of setting them alight is currently fighting for his life in hospital, after he was badly beaten by a group of community members.
The friends’ argument escalated when Mmeli brought up R100 which Ngema had owed him for over a year. He then allegedly threatened to burn down Ngema’s house, and stormed out of theneighboringarry out his threat.
However, after Ngema’s house was set alight at around midnight. On Saturday, the flames quickly spread to neighboring houses and before long a total of six were going up in smoke.
Speaking to Scrolla. Africa, Yamkelwa Ruxwana said he watched on as his two friends argued over the woman at a tavern on Saturday night.
He said he trusted that the gentlemen would easily solve their differences about the girl they both hadn’t met before.
Lerato Nkoana said she was sleeping when her house caught fire.
“At first, I heard loud bangs. I didn’t want to entertain as it was not on my door,” said Lerato.
She said she heard persistent banging from next door, and saw a cloud of smoke flowing in through her ceiling.
“I immediately realised that the house was on fire.
“The first thing I thought of was to rescue my two children aged seven and 11 who were sleeping. After that, I grabbed my phone to call the firemen to help put the fire out.
Lerato said she watched everything going in flames. “I go and sleep at friends’ place. I have nothing left.
She said while she was busy calling the firefighters, residents apprehended Mmeli and beat him up.
“All I heard was that he was badly beaten and he is fighting for his life at the Edenvale Hospital.”
Isaac Mangena, a resident in Alexandra, said the angry community members resorted to mob justice because of the slow pace of the police response to the crime.
“People rarely get help from the police when there’s a complaint,” said Mangena.
Provincial police spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele confirmed the incident.
Makhubele said police are investigating a case of attempted murder and no arrest has been made so far.
This article first appeared on our sister paper Scrolla.Afrika