“SAPS cannot allow a community to transform into killers and to take the law into their own hands” said the Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie following the murders of two young males during the early morning hours of 15 February 2019.
At about 02:30 Motherwell police were alerted by family of the first deceased that a group of people kidnapped a 23 old male and another male from his home in Mtanezulu Street, NU11, Motherwell. They also told police that the group took them into the bushes near Shukushukuma.
On police arrival the burning body of 23 year old male was found. At about 08:00 the body of the second male was found in the same vicinity of the bushy area about one kilometre further. It is speculated that the possible motive for the killings is that the community suspected them of the murder of a 60 year old female whose body was discovered early on 14 February.
Both males were bound with wires, killed and burned with tyres. The second male’s identity still needs to be confirmed.
The motive that sparked the vigilante murders erupted after the body of 60 year old female was found yesterday at 07:00 in her house in Mbayisa Street, Shukushukuma. Police suspect that she was murdered by suffocation with a towel as well as possibly being raped.
These vigilante murders follows just two days after the very same community was addressed on the same topic during an awareness imbizo that was conducted at the NU30 community hall. During this imbizo General Rabie strongly condemned the vigilante killings.
Any person suspected of a crime remains constitutionally innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law. We call on our communities to respect the Constitutional rights of all citizens and work closer with police and structures such as the Community Police Forums and Sector Policing Forums by sharing information with police on suspects rather than taking the law into their own hands. Persons taking part in vigilante killings (mob justice) immediately becomes killers themselves.
General Rabie further state that the SAPS will not tolerate these murders and will arrest and institute murder prosecution against such persons.
Any person with information that could assist police in these investigations can contact Detective Warrant Officer Kaya Makaula at 071 687 1976.
South Africa Today – South Africa News