Fire­bomb ‘was sui­cide’

Mur­der-sui­cide probe: fa­ther was fac­ing charge of as­sault

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - CHELSEA PIETERSE

THE fire­bomb­ing in­ci­dent that claimed the lives of five Pi­eter­mar­itzburg peo­ple last week is now be­lieved to have been a mur­der-sui­cide.

Sev­eral sep­a­rate po­lice sources have said that early in­di­ca­tions are that the death of the five was not an ar­son at­tack but a mur­der-sui­cide, al­legedly car­ried out by Aziz Man­jra (46) — fa­ther of three and hus­band to Gori Bee Man­jra (46).

Man­jra, his wife, their two youngest chil­dren, Mairoon­isa (14) and Muhammad Rizwan (9), and the fam­ily’s ten­ant Zai­boon Val­ley (50) were found dead in­side the fam­ily’s Larch Road home near Brook­side Mall in the early hours of last Thurs­day.

The Msun­duzi fire depart­ment had ar­rived at the dou­ble-storey house — pur­chased by the fam­ily just over a week be­fore they died — at around 3.30 am to find the house well alight.

Ini­tial re­ports from po­lice said a charge of ar­son had been opened and five counts of mur­der, how­ever, po­lice now be­lieve the tragic in­ci­dent to have been a mur­der-sui­cide.

It is al­leged that Aziz had as­saulted a young woman, how­ever, it is un­clear when the as­sault took place.

Rel­a­tives of the fam­ily, who asked not to be named, said they knew noth­ing of this as­sault and had not been in­formed of po­lice sus­pi­cions that the at­tack was a mur­der-sui­cide.

Po­lice sources said that fol­low­ing the al­leged as­sault on the young woman, which had not yet been re­ported to the po­lice, an an­gry Gori gave Aziz “march­ing or­ders” to go back to In­dia — the place he had moved from 25 years ago.

Sev­eral sources said Aziz had wanted to take the chil­dren with him but Gori would not al­low it.

When Gori would not al­low Aziz to take the chil­dren with him to In­dia, it is al­leged he then set the fire. The de­tails on how this was done are still sketchy.

Sources with in­ti­mate knowl­edge of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion said when the five bodies were found, Aziz had se­vere burns to his body and face while the rest of his fam­ily and the ten­ant had suf­fered mi­nor or no burns.

One source said Aziz had been found near the back door of the house with keys in his hand while the body of Muhammad Rizwan was found un­der a bed.

It is be­lieved the cause of death of the other four vic­tims was smoke in­hala­tion.

The source also con­firmed that traces of ac­cel­er­ants had been found in the house.

Ac­cord­ing to friends and neigh­bours of the fam­ily, Aziz moved from In­dia to South Africa 25 years ago.

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