A Gugulethu man had five of his fingers chopped off, his legs broken and his face, back and genitals burned with hot liquids, after he was accused of stealing a cellphone, say his family.
Danny Dyonasi is now recovering at Lentegeur Hospital, in Mitchell’s Plain.
A woman and two men have been arrested for the attempted murder and kidnapping of Mr Dyonasi, say police. They appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday February 20 and Tuesday February 27. They are expected to appear again on Thursday March 29.
Mr Dyonasi’s angry family say he was abducted and tortured after being accused of stealing the phone from a house a few blocks away from his home in NY21.
Four of his left fingers, except the thumb, as well as his right index finger, were chopped off during a three-day ordeal.
It is alleged that a woman, whose identity is known to Vukani but has been withheld for legal reasons, and some of her relatives, took the 30-year-old captive and tortured him in their house and threatened to kill him.
He was repeatedly assaulted and only freed, say his family, after they alerted police to the “inhumane” treatment meted out to him.
Sibusiso Dyonasi said his cousin had been picked up on Monday January 29 by his accusers who had tortured him into making a false confession – that he had sold the cellphone to someone in Cape Town.
The next day he had been taken to point out the spot where he had “admitted” to selling the phone. He had escaped from his accusers only to be abducted again by them when he had returned home, said Sibusiso, who added that his cousin had endured further beatings, while attempts by his family to intervene had been in vain.
Police officers had visited the house where Mr Dyonasi was being held, on Monday night, but had left without searching it, he said.
But they had returned to the house again on Wednesday, said Sibusiso, after he had alerted them to a loud noise and cries coming from there at about 10pm.
Neighbours had already been out on the streets when the police had arrived.
“It was drama. There were people everywhere,” Sibusiso said.
He said his cousin had been unconscious when he had been taken from the house. He had been rushed Heideveld Hospital and later transferred to Groote Schuur Hospital, where he had spent weeks undergoing treatment, before being transferred to Lentegeur for rehabilitation.
“Sisibhuku-bhuku nje sento ngoku, (an amputee),” said an angry cousin Zodwa Kulu. “He basically cannot do anything for himself. He is going to need special care and attention, possibly someone to look after him. We are very hurt and disappointed by the whole situation.”
Ms Kula is upset with the police for not acting sooner and for not searching the house the first time they visited it.
She said the woman at the house had simply denied that Mr Dyonasi was there and the police had been happy to take her at her word.
Ms Kula said the woman had gone around the neighbourhood bragging about how she had chopped off Mr Dyonasi’s fingers and thrown them away.
The police had also not helped the family track down her cousin after he had been taken from the house, she said.
Mr Dyonasi’s aunt, Nomvuyo Dyonase, said: “This is terrible. I do not think he will ever walk again. We saw something that we’ve never seen before. It is by the grace of God that he is alive.”
Gugulethu police spokesperson, Constable Sindisiwe Ngqele, confirmed that three people were facing attempted murder and kidnapping charges, but she did not comment on the allegations, put to her by Vukani, that police had failed to search the house and had not assisted the family.