Image via Unsplash
Image via Unsplash
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mphephu, Limpopo, are on the hunt for suspects who assaulted and set alight two men, one of which being a rape suspect, during separate mob justice incidents that took place on 8 November 2019.
SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said with the first incident, police responded to a complaint from community members at about 8:00, after a body of man was found at Tshituni tsha Fhasi village, near the Nwanedi River.
“When police arrived at the scene, they found the charred remains of a 27-year-old man, identified as Elikana Makondelele. The body had open wounds and his legs were tightened with an electric wire. The motive behind the killing is unknown at this stage but police investigations are ongoing,” said Mojapelo.
That evening, around 18:00, the community of Raliphaswa Tshikhwani village allegedly stoned and set alight a man they suspected of raping a girl.
“Police attended to an attempted rape incident of a six-year-old girl. While they were busy with their investigations, they received a complaint of mob justice and responded immediately. When they arrived at the scene, the person was already dead and community members had left the scene. Various objects like stones and bricks were left next to the body,” said Mojapelo.
The deceased had been identified as Lutendo Raswiswi, 35, from Matanda village. In both incidents, police have opened cases of murder and no arrests of suspects have been made yet.
A manhunt has been launched for the suspects responsible for these acts of criminality.
“Anyone who may provide information about the perpetrators should contact Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Mphephu on 082 565 7729, the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111 or the nearest police station,” said Mojapelo.
The provincial commissioner of the SAPS in Limpopo, Lieutenant General, Nneke Ledwaba, has condemned the killings and urged all members of the community to report any suspects or criminal activity to the police and refrain from resorting to acts of vigilantism.
Ledwaba said that perpetrators of these “barbaric acts are to be hunted down and brought to book.”