Man killed in mob justice

A 33-year-old man was beaten to death with sjamboks and sticks during a mob justice incident near Brits last Monday. Three men have been arrested for kidnapping and murder.

According to police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani, the man and his son were asleep in their house near Letlhabile at 02:00 when a group of people forced open the door and entered the house.

“The mob accused the victim for theft of electric cables and allegedly took him to a house where he was tied to a tree and assaulted with sjamboks and sticks. One of the accused, called the victim’s son to come and fetch him.

The seriously injured victim was taken home, and the police and paramedics were called, but the victim was certified dead on the scene,” she said.

The police investigation led to the arrest of Khotso Mabokoane (25), Tonki Hlomelang (39) and Maropeng Malatjie (41) for kidnapping and murder. They appeared in the Brits Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 19 October and were remanded in custody until their next appearance.

The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, welcomed the arrest and condemned the incident. He urged members of the community to refrain from taking the law into their own hands and to work together with the police.

The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) said the vigilantism was a “barbaric, horrendous act that undermines the rule of law.”

“We urge communities to report crime to authorities in the criminal justice system instead of taking the law into their own hands as vigilantism has a distinctive potential to lead to lawlessness as well as a vicious cycle of violence,” said SANCO Provincial Chairperson, Paul Sebegoe. He welcomed the prompt arrest of three suspects.