Police are investigating the possibility that the five might be involved in gangsterism.
The Bravo Security Company, members from Bethal and Secunda Crime Intelligence and Emzinoni Police arrested a group of five men, including three teenagers, in connection with the murder of a 25-year-old Nigerian and the gang-rape of three women on Friday night.
The arrested group includes two 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old.
The police commissioner in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, says police received a complaint from Bethal Hospital about a Nigerian man who was admitted with multiple stab wounds.
The investigation revealed that a group of about five men reportedly had an altercation with the man who then ran towards a local fuel station in Bethal. It is alleged that the suspects pursued him and stabbed him several times before leaving him behind in a pool of blood.
Emergency medical personnel were notified and took him to hospital. The man later died in hospital and a case of murder was opened.
The man has been identified by his family as June Mwafor.
It is alleged that after the stabbing, the suspects went to a house where they found three women, aged between 27 and 35, and gang-raped them before they fled the scene on foot.
The suspects were kept in custody after their arrest on Friday and are expected to appear at the Bethal Magistrate’s Court today.
The police are working in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the probation officers as well as social workers, taking into consideration the fact that some of the suspects are minors.
Police cannot rule out the possibility of the five being involved in gangsterism however this will form part of the investigation by the detectives.
Manamela says that she is concerned about the rate in which some of the young people are found to clash with the law.
She has reassured the public that police will continue to work tirelessly in order to dismantle any form of criminal groupings or syndicates that terrorise communities with crime.
“There is so much space created by the various challenges that the world faces today, of which young people can turn into opportunities by bringing forth innovative ideas and solutions rather than engaging themselves in criminal activities. We encourage the youth to join Youth Crime Prevention Desk at their respective police stations.
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