Details have emerged about a Ugandan couple that was burnt to death inside their residence in South Africa. Joshua Mutaasa, 33, and Ritah Nalwanga, 35, were hit with a metallic bar and their bodies doused with petrol and set ablaze at their home in Rustenburg, South African province of Northam Limpopo, according to friends and relatives. The assailant is also allegedly a Uganda, who is now in Police custody. Mutaasa was father of Nalwanga’s three-year-old boy.
However, Nalwanga is survived by eight children, whom she bore from earlier relationships. Her eight children lived with her mother in Uganda until she (mother) died last year. Mutaasa, an engineer, was working with a South African construction company and Nalwanga’s known job was hairdressing, according to relatives.
Reports indicate that the couple was allegedly murdered by a Ugandan, identified as Sulaiman Kamya, who is believed to be in his early 30s. Nalwanga’s brother, Jonathan Mateege, said the suspect owed Mutaasa over about sh12m.
“I last spoke to my sister on Thursday morning,” Mateege said yesterday.
Nalwanga last came to Uganda in September, last year, according to relatives. However, according to a Ugandan living in South Africa, who claimed to be close to both the deceased and the suspect, it was Mutaasa who owed the suspect money. He narrated in an audio clip that Mutaasa introduced Kamya to him and asked him to assist in any way he could, because he was jobless and desperate.
“When Mutaasa asked me to help, he had left Kamya outside the bar where we were. When he entered, Mutaasa left. We exchanged pleasantries with Kamya and his statement was, ‘I am not desperate. I just want Mutaasa to pay my money,’’’ the Ugandan said.
The man in the audio described Kamya as an introvert and a violent man. Kamya, who is in police custody in Rustenburg, allegedly admitted to have used a metallic bar to clobber the couple to death, before setting the bodies ablaze.
“He is a short-tempered person, who is fond of using dangerous instruments, such as knives whenever he is involved in a brawl,” a source who knows the suspect said.
It is said Kamya visited the home of the deceased with a metallic bar and petrol. The suspect is said to have a criminal record. The suspect found Nalwanga in the kitchen and hit her once on the head and she fell on the ground. Kamya then reportedly called out Mutaasa from the bedroom where he was resting and feigned ignorance about what had happened.
As a shocked Mutaasa reached out to his wife, Kamya also hit him on the head and he died instantly too. It is at this point that the suspect poured petrol on Nalwanga and Mutaasa, set them ablaze, locked the house and fled in Mutaasa’s vehicle.
According to a South African media, a police spokesperson, Col. Moatshe Ngoepe, reported that both the deceased and the suspect were all businesspeople:
“However, we are still investigating the motive. We have found that petrol was used in arson.”
News24 reported that on Friday, police were called to Wildebeeste Laagte Farm outside Northam, where they found a house engulfed in flames.
“The police, together with other players tried to extinguish the blaze, but with no success. Further attempts were made to rescue the people inside until they managed to gain entry by breaking the windows.” “Subsequently, two people were found lying dead on the floor with serious wounds on their bodies,” Ngoepe said