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Cape Town - Three alleged thieves – two of them teenagers – were attacked and killed within eight hours on Sunday by a mob in Khayelitsha.
The murders followed allegations by residents of D-Block in Site C that the three had stolen a crate of beer.
In a vain attempt to escape the mob, one of the three, a 19 year old, jumped into the back of a stranger’s car in Nyuthu Crescent, but he was stoned to death and the vehicle was badly damaged, according to residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
They said the attack happened at 7.30pm.
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk confirmed two teenagers and a 24-year-old man, Mandisi Ngcwangu, had been killed.
He said police found the body of the second teenager at 11.30am in Nyandeni Street. There were bricks, broken wood and empty bottles lying next to the body.
Police found Ngcwangu’s body at 9.45pm in Jiba Crescent.
Van Wyk said the attacks were being investigated and no arrests had been made.
A shebeen in the Taiwan informal settlement, not far from D-block, was burgled on Saturday night, and this was reported to the community, said a D-block resident.
The 27-year-old woman said residents had organised a search party on Sunday morning “because they had enough of the boys”.
Within hours one of them was found by the residents, who assaulted him with rocks before he was stabbed in the chest, she said.
Residents held another meeting in the afternoon to decide what to do with the other two suspects.
The woman said that later she had been cooking supper when she heard a commotion. She went to look outside and saw a group of about 30 men.
“It was just chaotic here on Sunday. They went to a house where the boys were hiding. I think they knew that the men were coming so they ran.
“One of them tripped and he was caught. He was beaten in the street and died there,” the resident said.
A teenager who had been with Ngcwangu managed to evade the mob by jumping fences.
Another resident said the teenager had scaled her fence.
“The young man was being chased by a group of people with wooden planks… It was probably more than 30 men.
“We ran into the house because we were scared and didn’t know what was happening,” the woman said.
“He got into the car while my neighbour was about to go.
“I think because (the neighbour) didn’t know what was happening he locked the doors.
“The men just dragged the car to the street and smashed all the windows.
“They pulled the boy (out) and beat him up with planks and threw rocks at him.
“He died there,” she said pointing to a spot in front of her gate.
The murders came two days after a suspected thief was necklaced in Khayelitsha and days after the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry, which also probed the causes of vigilante murders in the township, finished the first phase of its hearings.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111, SMS Crimeline on 32211 or their nearest police station.