‘Police to blame for death’



Nombuyiselo Macoba holds a picture of her daughter, Philisiwe Makhosi Macoba, who was stoned to death in December 2011in Welbedacht. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

The family of the sangoma who was stoned to death in Welbedacht by a mob which incorrectly believed she had abducted a child, blames the police for her death.

Sangoma Philisiwe “Makhosi” Macoba died in December, at the hands of Welbedacht residents, some of whom have been arrested.

The child was found the same day she had gone missing and had been taken to uMlazi Police Station two days before Macoba’s death.

“If police had circulated to other stations that a child had been found, maybe (Macoba) would be alive,” said her aunt, Nomonde Macoba, during an interview at their Matatiele home.

Macoba’s mother, Nombuyiselo, also had to endure the pain of being called on her cellphone and being told by the people holding her daughter that she was going to be killed.

The Macoba family live in Dungane, a remote rural village near Matatiele.

Nombuyiselo said Macoba’s three children were now orphans being looked after by her parents, pensioners who could barely make ends meet.

“She was the breadwinner. The parents of the child who had been missing found their child. Philisiwe’s children no longer have a parent, I blame them as well. Will they help raise and educate these children so they can get good jobs? That is what Philisiwe was working for.”

Macoba came to Durban looking for work after dropping out of school in Grade 11 because she could see her parents were struggling. When she found a job, she became the family’s breadwinner.

In 2000, she became a sangoma and the money she made from healing people helped look after her parents, aunt, sister, her children and her sister’s child.

She died on December 20 and was buried on January 2 at the family’s burial site, close to their home in Matatiele.

“She was everything, we were awaiting a warm Christmas with her. In fact, I really don’t like talking about her death because it won’t bring her back.


“My child is gone and it hurts,” Nombuyiselo said.

Macoba’s children, Ncubeko, 14, Vuyokazi, 10 and Abongile, 1, are finding it hard to adjust, moving from urban Welbedacht to rural Matatiele.

“The older ones tend to misbehave at their new schools here and Abongile is unsettled, crying a lot,” she said.

Macoba’s father, Mandla, said he could not begin to describe his pain.

“(The people who killed Macoba) phoned my wife when she was sick in hospital to tell her they were going to kill her daughter, her condition could have become worse after hearing this and she could have died too. I am in too much pain.”

Nombuyiselo said:

“They never told me their name, but there was a lot of noise where they were and I could not tell whether it was a female or a male on the other end. The doctor took my phone from me saying whoever was phoning was causing more strain to my health.”

Macoba’s uncle, Sipho, said he thought it was important for the family to one day meet Macoba’s killers for closure.

“It heals a person to apologise when they have wronged another. So we, as a family, can have an opportunity to tell the killers that they left us with a lot of pain. We would have let those people into our home to search for their child, we just want to know why they had to kill her.” – Daily News

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‘Police to blame for death’