Lucia, a 30-year-old mother of one, was killed on 27th of March 2020. Her body was found burnt in her home allegedly after her boyfriend set the house on fire. The case was reported to the Harare Police Station, in Khayelitsha and Mr Radebe was assigned as the investigating officer. To date, the family has not received any feedback from the assigned officer. Lucia’s family approached the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) for assistance in having their daughter’s case heard.
Prior to Lucia’s death, her mother claims that she received a call from her then frightened daughter who told her that her boyfriend was currently roaming around the property threatening to set it on fire while she was inside. A week after that call, Lucia’s mother woke up to the news that her daughter had been killed in a house fire. Lucia Tshona mother reports that there were three witnesses who saw the boyfriend setting Lucia’s home on fire, despite having provided this information to the police, none of them have been interviewed. The family is also yet to receive post mortem results for her death.
Lucia’s mother has expressed how exasperating it has been dealing with police in Khayelitsha. To our awareness, no formal investigation has been launched into her death and instead of the police opening a murder a case, an inquest case was opened instead. The mother details the odd manner in which the investigation is being carried, she claims that a friend of Lucia’s wrote a social media post stating that men are dogs in Xhosa, the following day her home was visited by the investigating officer to talk to her about her Facebook post and its offense to Lucia’s boyfriend, despite the woman having not mentioned the deceased boyfriend’s name. The mother also highlighted how upon arriving at the scene, a bottle with unmarked contents was found around the house, despite having questioned the contents of the bottle with the police, they still haven’t identified what liquid was in the bottle.
Two SJC staff members accompanied Lucia’s mother to the police station on the 11th of June to try and get more information regarding the progress of the case and they met with an officer that was acting on behalf of the station commander who was on leave during this time, this was the last anyone heard anything with regards to the case.
Today the SJC is holding a memorial service for Lucia, after that SJC members, community members, and family members will conduct a peaceful walk to the Khayelitsha police station and demonstrate peacefully for justice for Lucia.