Durban - A Phoenix man was beaten to death by a group of men after his car accidentally rolled into theirs at the weekend.
Lutchman Govender, 48, died just metres from his Sastri Park home on Saturday morning when five men allegedly stomped on and kicked him.
Govender had apparently forgotten to pull up the car’s handbrake when he stopped near his home.
The vehicle rolled, colliding with another vehicle.
A police source said Govender was accosted by the occupants of the other car when he ran back to his car.
A witness who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity said as soon as the group got to Govender, “all hell broke loose” as they started beating him.
“He didn’t even have a chance to utter a word. They beat him and when he fell down, they kicked him and swore at him about their car.”
The source said Govender’s runaway vehicle – a Colt bakkie – hit a car and ploughed through a wooden fence before crashing into a tree at a nearby park. The front of the car was smashed, he said.
“Govender was trying to run after his bakkie and the suspects were chasing after him.”
The suspects had accused Govender of trying to flee the scene, the source said.
“They never gave him a chance to say a word. He was pushed to the ground and kicked and booted.”
The source said he tried in vain to stop the attack.
“They were in a frenzy. Each one took turns to kick him in the face and stomach. It was horrible… he never stood a chance.”
The scene was swarming with police within minutes. But it was too late. Govender was already dead, the source said. He said three of the suspects – two of whom are brothers – were arrested at the scene.
The other two were arrested early on Sunday at their homes.
Govender lived in the same street as the five suspects.
It is not clear why Govender had stopped, leaving his driver’s door open and failing to pull up the handbrake.
His wife, daughter and brother were too traumatised to speak to the Daily News on Sunday.
They had run to the scene after being alerted by neighbours and had seen Govender’s battered, lifeless body, said a neighbour.
Govender was buried on Sunday after an emotional ceremonyat his Queenspark Crescent home where mourners had lined the street.
“His death was totally senseless,” said a neighbour.
“His family is now without a father and husband and those boys (suspects) will lose their whole future and be marked as murderers (if convicted).”
The neighbour said what was most shocking was that the five suspects lived in the same neighbourhood.
“We know these boys; we know their parents. Why would they keep pounding and pounding him? Why must a man die for an accident? It was a really traumatic and senseless thing. Now so many lives are turned upside down.”
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said the five suspects had been arrested and were expected to appear in court this week on murder charges.