The residents of Mpheni took the law into their own hands on Saturday in yet another case of mob justice. They allegedly set alight a Zimbabwean suspected of rape and participating in crime in the area.
Last November, members of the same community were accused of the beating and setting alight a suspect who had allegedly rob an Indian business.
According to reports, the residents saw the suspect last Friday night and chased after him and eventually apprehended him. The man was allegedly beaten to death with sticks and stones before he was set alight.
It was also reported that the residents have blamed the police “for being lenient on criminals by arresting and then releasing them within a short time”. One community member, who preferred to remain anonymous, said to Limpopo Mirror that the community was tired of crime that happened on a daily basis in the area. “We are hard hit in this area with many break-ins and robberies taking place. Enough is enough,” he said.
A community member added that crime was at an all-time high. "We are very concerned, and we are giving a warning to would-be criminals not to dare venture into our village as their safety will not be guaranteed.” He said many families had been attacked and robbed at their homes on many occasions. “We just hope that what had happened today will send a strong message to those who might be tempted to commit crimes not to set foot in our area,” he said.
Cllr David Ndou condemned the brutal killing of the man. He urged all to be united in the fight against crime. "All we want is a crime-free village where one can sleep outside with open gates, without fear of being attacked by thugs. We are now urging all residents to notify their neighbours if they are away from home."
Brig Motlafela Mojapelo of the Limpopo police said they had opened a murder docket and were requesting community members to supply them with information “so that we can investigate the case properly.” Mojapelo warned that the police will work hard to track down the culprits, so that they are brought to book.
Date:17 February 2017 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.