North West

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Nelspruit community torches suspect found with missing boy’s body parts

The boy’s missing body parts were found in the suspect’s fridge before he was torched alive by the angry community.

North West

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

A Nelspruit community, in Mpumalanga, has been accused of murdering a suspect who was being sought for the disappearance of a 13-year-old boy.

What happened in Nelspruit?

The last time anyone saw the 13-year-old boy from Alexandria Trust, a settlement near Hazyview, Nelspruit, was on Friday, 9 August.

Hours went by with no sign of the boy, and the community, fearing the worst, amassed a group of people to search the vast stretch of land.

The body of the missing boy was found near a dam in Alexandria Trust, later that day. While an autopsy report has yet to determine when and how the boy died, police spokesperson, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi noted that when they found the boy’s body, it had been mutilated, with parts of his body missing.

Searching for answers, the community took matters into their own hands and went looking for answers. Who was the last person seen with the boy, and why would anyone brutally murder him in the manner that they did?

According to Hlathi, two boys eventually stepped forward on Saturday, 10 August, claiming that the boy was last seen walking with a man that was well-known in Nelspruit.

Before allowing authorities to step forward and take hold of the criminal investigation, the community, evidently triggered by the brutal nature of the boy’s murder, went looking for the man.

Hlathi revealed that the man was tracked down and confronted about his dealings with the boy. A search of his property led the community to the gruesome discovery of the boy’s missing body parts that were stored in his refrigerator

He was then assaulted and torched alive. According to Hlathi, the man died on the scene.

“Police were alerted about the incident and upon arrival at the scene, they were attacked by the angry mob as they tried to quell the situation,” he added.

Police condemn mob justice

Reacting to the incident, Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma condemned the actions taken by the Nelspruit community.

“Vigilantism will not be tolerated nor accepted as a way of dealing with crime, anyone found to have participated in such acts, will be arrested and face the full might of the law”, said General Zuma.

A case of murder has been opened against the community and police in Nelspruit are looking for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of those who were involved in the mob justice attack.

The case of the murdered boy has since been shelved due to the contamination of evidence and the community’s interference with the investigation.