Cape Town - A group of Crossroads residents stoned a 32-year-old man to death after he was believed to have raped a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint.
Angry members of the community had him dragged out of a shebeen a few metres away from the victim’s home on Sunday morning. He was beaten with sjamboks and stoned to death.
The teenager who was raped has been taken to a place of safety after her family received threats from the dead man’s friends, believed to be part of a gang.
The man’s body apparently lay in the road for around five hours before it was removed by paramedics.
According to the aunt of the rape victim, who may not be named, the girl and a friend had left home on Saturday afternoon to visit another friend. On the way they were confronted by two men with knives who forced them into a shack and raped them.
“My niece told me they were approached by two men. We know them. She said they showed them knives and dragged them to a backyard shack. That’s when she was raped. She told me the suspect and his accomplice threatened to kill them if they told anyone about the incidents,” the aunt said.
“She is traumatised and she can’t even talk. The last time she spoke was when she was telling us about the incident. Since then, she’s been shaking and quiet,” the victim’s 35-year-mother said, adding that she herself is still in shock and they “urgently need counselling”.
When the Cape Times went to the scene of the killing on Monday, there was a tense atmosphere. Some residents said they did not want to provide information, saying that they feared being attacked by gangs, because the suspected rapist was part of a gang.
The family of the girl said they have been receiving threats from the the suspects’ friends since Sunday.
The girl’s family said the police had kicked and damaged their door, and had allegedly pointed a gun at the girl’s grandmother, demanding that she open the other door inside the house.
“They broke our door and said they were looking for my brother. The officer pointed at my mother with a gun. They said he was part of the mob justice, but he was at work when the killing incident happened,” said the girl’s mother.
Members of the community said it had been “only a matter of time” before people took action against the man. They say they were tired of him because he had committed crimes in the area. They said everyone was fed-up with him.
“The day before he raped the girl, he robbed people of their phones. He was always carrying a knife with him. We don’t regret his killing because if we do not react to these incidents, no one would,” said a community member, who asked that his identity be withheld.
Police spokesman Andre Traut said a case of murder had been opened and no arrests had been made.
“The police are investigating the murder of a 32-year-old man,” Traut said.