Police deliberately ignored protection orders; could have saved Lindiwe Zitha’s petrol burn attack

Lindiwe Zitha, the sister of former Banyana Banyana player Khabo Zitha, sustained severe burns all over her body after she was doused in petrol and set alight by her ex-boyfriend, Eric Marakalala, despite numerous protection orders against him.

“This is another case of the entire criminal justice system failing someone in desperate need of protection,” said Tshepi Mmekwa, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “The police refused to enforce the protection orders – the need for more than one protection order is already worrying – and he was out on parole for previous assaults. As is the case in so many similar cases, he should have been locked away from the beginning.”

The attack took place in Lindiwe’s home in Mamelodi. Her mother, Maria, who witnessed the attack, is still traumatised by the incident. Lindiwe has since undergone numerous skin grafting and eye restoration operations and is currently in a drug-induced coma. Marakalala has succumbed to his wounds as he caught flames when trying to kill Lindiwe.

Action Society received a mandate to oversee this case.

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Action Society will protect and save all relevant personal information as described in the applicable legislation and shall only use such personal information for the purpose stated herein. With completing the above form you agree and confirm that Action Society may contact you in future. We thank you for your support.