Three necklaced in Khayelitsha vigilante killings
21 March 2012 | Nombulelo Damba | West Cape News
Following a spate of robberies at Enkanini informal settlement in Khayelitsha three men were stoned and then necklaced in a vigilante killing on Monday night.
The men, who had tyres put around their necks and piled on top of them before being set alight, were accused by residents of robbing people’s houses, and were apparently caught trying to steal a television.
Enkanini residents said the owner of the house which was being burgled screamed for help and neighbours rushed to apprehend the thieves, whereupon they beaten them with stones and sticks before burning them alive.
Provincial police spokesperson November Filander said police received a call at about 6.30pm and when they arrived at the scene they found “a large group of people attacking three males near the railway line at Nkanini in Harare, Khayelitsha”.
Filander said the three men had been set alight as residents believed they were responsible for a spate of robberies in the area.
Two of the men were declared dead at the scene while the third, who had managed to crawl out of the burning pyre of tyres, died of his injuries in hospital.
Eye-witness Sisonke Xathu said he was on his way home after work when residents called him and others walking along the street to deal with thieves who had been caught.
“When I came here they were already beating them with stones and sticks until they fell. Some of the residents came with tyres. They were put on their neck and some on top of their bodies before set alight.”
Xathu said residents were singing and shouting ‘Mabafe’ (let them die).
Resident Thandikhaya Matyi, 30, said the three first stole a generator from the church.
“We had enough of them, we buy then they steal, they deserve to die,” he said.
The killing comes days after Macassar police found the bodies of Luxolo Mpontshane, 25, Mabhuti Matinise, 20, and Sivuyile Rola, 28, in the sand dunes of Macassar during the early hours of Thursday morning last week.
The three men from Khayelitsha Harare 33 section were allegedly kidnapped by community members on suspicion of stealing a plasma television set and tortured for nine hours before being killed.
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said four people had been arrested on murder and abduction charges for last week’s incident but no arrests had yet been made in connection with the men killed at Enkanini on Monday.
Harare Community Police Forum deputy chair Nosiwe Somtsewu said people taking law into their own hands was not right.
“I had been telling residents at meetings that they should let the police do their job. Taking the law into their own hands is not a solution, they will end up in jail.” she said. — Nombulelo Damba
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