Two men, were burned to death and their houses torched in an apparent act of vigilantism, during the early hours of 25 April 2019, at Mganduzweni, Masoyi near White River. This incident is suspected to be a retaliation by the community following the murder of two siblings aged six and seven whose bodies were discovered on 24 April 2019, in a ditch, in the same area.
According to police reports, the first victim aged 24, was kidnapped at his home which was set alight soon thereafter, he was then forced to lead the mob/suspects to the house of the second victim, a 36 year old pastor. Upon arrival they forcefully grabbed him out and burned both of them alive as well as the house.
Police believe these atrocious deeds may have been fuelled by rumours that are doing the rounds saying that the young siblings may have had certain body parts mutilated. Police would like to put the record straight that a preliminary investigation conducted at the scene, there were no such missing body parts. Members of the community are further urged to refrain from reckless rumour mongering which may have adverse repercussions when coming to sensitive matters like this one.
Other information suggest that a sangoma may have been consulted who in turn pointed towards the two slain men as being the ones responsible for the siblings’ demise. People are requested to bring such information to the relevant authorities instead, as opposed to going on the rampage attacking and killing people.
Police Management is disappointed by the conduct of certain members of the community. Despite an engagement that took place between the police and members of the community soon after the discovery of the young girls’ bodies, members of the community proceeded to take the law into their hands even though they were unreservedly requested to forward any information that could lead to the arrest of the children’s murderers.
Anyone with information that may assist police, in the investigation of both incidents as well as tracing of the person(s) responsible for the cowardly and callous acts, is urged to contact Captain Timothy Mushwana at 082 449 0223.
The Provincial Commissioner of police in Mpumalanga Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma warns community members to stop taking the law into their own hands, urging people to report criminal acts to the police and let the law take its course. “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.
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