Mob beats housebreaker to death

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iol sep 9 crime tape .

Johannesburg -

A Limpopo man has been killed by a mob who accused him of breaking into a house at the weekend.

This comes a few months after he was released on R1 000 bail by the Mankweng Magistrate’s Court for his alleged involvement in the rape of a 25-year-old woman last December.

Collen Mboweni, 32, died of his injuries at Nobody Village, east of Polokwane, on Saturday.

Police spokesman Constable Moses Molepo said Mboweni was rearrested last month for house robbery after his release on bail for last year’s rape.

He was released on R1 000 bail on Wednesday for his alleged involvement in the robbery case.

Three days later, he was beaten to death by angry residents for breaking into a house in the neighbourhood.

Two women who stayed in the house said Mboweni broke in at about 3am on Saturday. The two women, aged 23 and 24, live alone in the house.

“He battled to open the door of our room.

“I sent the man in the neighbouring house a text message,” said the 23-year-old woman.

“Our neighbour blew the whistle, and within a few minutes, community members had already arrived and they caught him as he tried to escape,” she said.

The woman said Mboweni was bludgeoned with sticks in front of the gate until he died.

He died in front of police officers, who she said arrived at the scene nearly three hours after they had been called.

“He was assaulted here at the gate. The ambulance arrived after the police and he had already died,” she said.

The woman said she was still shocked by the killing.

“But on the other hand, we don’t know what he could have done to us. He could have raped and maybe even killed us.”

Molepo said the police had been preparing to rearrest and charge Mboweni for another rape of a 21-year-old woman from the same village in March.

“We only received DNA test results last week, and we were going to arrest and charge him for a second rape case,” said Molepo.

While the killing of Mboweni has been welcomed by some in the community, not all are celebrating his death.

The 25-year-old woman who he allegedly raped in December said she was saddened by his death.

She now lives in Gauteng.

“I learnt about his death when my friend phoned me on Saturday morning. She was celebrating, but I am not,” she said.

No arrests had been made for Mboweni’s killing.

Molepo said a case of murder had been opened.

In February, a 26-year-old nephew of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was stoned to death by a mob in the same village.

Jimmy Mokoma, a teacher at Mothiba Primary School, was suspected of trying to abduct an eight-year-old girl from the street. - The Star


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