The wife of a Butterworth Anglican Church priest yesterday made a brief appearance in the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court in connection with the murder of her husband earlier this month.
Lungiswa Xuba, 40, and Vuyo Mehlo, 40, were arrested in Elliot last week Friday by Butterworth police detectives in connection with the death of Xuba’s husband, the Reverend Ongama Xuba.
At this stage it is not clear what Mehlo’s relationship is to Xuba.
Butterworth police spokesman, Captain Jackson Manatha confirmed their arrest and charges.
“After their arrest on Friday last week they were detained by police until they appeared in court yesterday. They made a brief court appearance and are expected back in court next week for a formal bail application.
“Both are charged with the murder of Xuba,” Manatha said.
Ongama was found lying dead in a pool of blood on August 3 inside the St Peters Anglican Church house yard in King Street, Butterworth.
He had multiple stab wounds to his upper body.
His body was discovered by his two young children who arrived home with their mother after returning from a shop.
“After seeing his body in a pool of blood, the two children returned quickly to inform their mother that their father was covered in blood.
“It is alleged that the mother and her two children had gone to town to buy something for the deceased.
“It is not clear how the perpetrator gained entrance to the house,” Manatha said.
At the time, Manatha said the motive for the murder was not known and that nothing had been taken from the house.
Ongama’s death shocked many in Butterworth and his church leader, Bishop Elliot Williams of the Mbhashe Anglican Church, described his death and the news of his wife’s arrest as “terrible”.
Eastern Cape Council of Churches leader Reverend Mpumelelo Qwabaza said police should not leave any stone unturned in their investigation.
“It is sad news to hear that the wife of the deceased has been arrested in this case.
“But we call for people to cooperate with the police investigation and we are praying that the congregation must be calm and let the police do their work.”
Qwabaza said they wanted a speedy investigation into the matter so that the truth could be revealed.
“There are children involved in this and two families, so it would be nice to see the investigations speedily resolved to have closure in this matter.
“(Ongama) was a leader who did not deserve to die like that.”
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luxolo Tyali confirmed the case and said the two would appear in court next week Wednesday. “They are currently remanded in custody.
“By next week they will both be given an opportunity to exercise their right to have their legal representatives in the case,” Tyali said.