An Ekurhuleni disaster and emergency management services (DEMS) fire engine was set alight by community members in Moleleki section Katlehong on early on Sunday morning.
The fire crew was responding to a shack fire and members of the public confronted them with stones and rocks, breaking all the windows and forcing the crew to abandon the vehicle, literally running away for their lives, the City of Ekurhuleni said in a statement.
“One of the public members jumped behind the steering wheel and drove it away before [it] being torched. [The] Fire engine, worth more than R4.5 million including all rescue and firefighting equipment, was destroyed by [the] fire. Nothing was salvaged.”
According to information on the scene, the reason for this action was to prevent the firefighters from extinguishing the burning shack, as it was alleged that the owner was the perpetrator of a crime.
“Apparently the shack owner stabbed his neighbour to death during the night and everyone was avenging [this] by burning his shack.
“The wife and two children of the suspect escaped with no injuries when members of the public broke the shack down trying to get hold of him (the suspect) who happened to be in the shack at the time.
“The suspect sustained critical injuries on [the] scene due to assault by the members of the public and was transported to hospital by council ambulance for further medical care.”
An inquest docket had been opened with the police and no one had been arrested yet, the statement said.
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