Standing for the first time at the scene where Vuyokazi Mgolodela’s charred body was found proved to be too much for the slain mother’s family and friends yesterday.
Their hysterical cries drew a number of curious passers-by, motorists, and residents who wanted to know what was happening, and who offered their support after hearing their case.
Mgolodela, a 27-year-old mother from Makhaza in Khayelitsha, was reported missing by her cousin on January 6.
The following morning, a mere three meters from the busy Walter Sisulu Road, people on their way to work discovered the charred remains of a woman who was later identified by police to be Mgolodela.
Her boyfriend Vuyolwethu Ganjana appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court yesterday for her murder, where the case was postponed to February 25 for bail application and further investigation.
According to Mgolodela’s sister Babalwa, the accused was captured on two CCTV cameras outside a shop and is seen going to the scene three times before dragging her body.
“We were shown the footage by the police. He had put her inside something that looked like a large white plastic bag, and was dragging her by her feet.
“He stops for a while because she is heavy, and then continues again until he is by the shop. He took about four tyres and placed it on top of the body before he set it alight,” she said.
“She was my only sibling, we had no parents. Now I’m all alone, nothing can describe this pain. Her child will now grow up without a mother.”
A few days after the burnt body was discovered, Ganjana allegedly texted Babalwa apologizing, saying he would hand himself over to Hout Bay police, she said.
The accused was arrested in a small village, Ngqamakhwe, in the Eastern Cape.
Provincial police spokesperson Jackson Manatha said the arrest followed a tip-off.
Before a short candle-light ceremony for Mgolodela yesterday, police had to intervene at the court case and push out a number of residents who tried to squeeze in. There was strong opposition for bail by family and friends.
“You disgusting pig, you still have the audacity to ask for bail, you better pray you don’t get it,” courtgoers shouted.
Tensions ran high outside the court when residents heard the family of the accused had not visited the Mgolodela family.
Ward Councillor Xolisa Ngwekazi said: “The entire community is reeling in pain. You can see by the turn-out Vuyokazi was loved by many residents. However, that doesn’t mean residents must go burn the accused family home or beat them.
“His family didn’t send him to kill her. There are many ways to support the Mgolodela family. As community leaders, we will continue to calm residents.”