Petrol-doused Mamelodi woman fighting for her life in hospital
A Mamelodi woman is fighting for her life in hospital after being set alight at her home, allegedly by her boyfriend, on Saturday.
Lindiwe Zitha, 51, was assaulted by a man who poured petrol over her and set her alight.
She is the sister of former Banyana Banyana player Khabo Zitha who told TimesLIVE Lindiwe is on life support as she was burnt from head to toe.
“There is no part of her body that is not burnt. She has not woken up since she was admitted on Saturday. She's in a coma. She’s had countless operations for skin grafting and eye restoration. Every day the hospital calls to inform us about a procedure they have to make. It’s really bad,” Khabo said.
She told TimesLIVE her elderly mother, who was in the house during the attack, is still traumatised.
According to Khabo, her sister's attacker took advantage of the darkness caused by load-shedding.
“It was during load-shedding so he took advantage of that because there was less movement on the street and it was dark. He stormed into the house and started hitting her, then put her head and face in a bucket filled with petrol which he poured all over her body, before setting her alight,” she said.
Khabo says the man then locked her sister in her bedroom.
“Her life was saved by a boy who helps with the garden.
“He rushed to the house and called for help from neighbours and they all tried to stop the fire. The guy had also poured petrol in the bedroom he had locked her in but at least they were able to contain the fire before it spread to other rooms in the house,” she said.
Khabo says her sister was taken to hospital by neighbours.
“She hasn't woken up. Her body is badly burnt, no part was spared. Her eyes are burnt from the inside. Her condition is bad and has left us distraught.
“I wonder if my sister will ever wake up. We are so shattered because she was the one who kept us together. She was taking care of our elderly mother,” she said.
Khabo says her mother is struggling to sleep.
“She keeps asking if this man will come back and kill her because she says he threatened her when he was attacking Lindiwe,” Khabo said.
Gauteng police spokesperson Col Mavela Masondo confirmed that police arrested a 55-year-old man and charged him with attempted murder.
He said police in Gauteng will continue to prioritise cases of gender-based violence and crimes committed against children.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana confirmed that the man, Eric Marakalala, made his first court appearance on Monday.
“The matter was postponed to June 12 for his criminal profile and possible bail application,” Mahanjana said.
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