Cape Town - He was reportedly found with his hands and feet tied together, having being beaten to death with a spade.
This is what happened to Quinton Petersen, a troubled 16-year-old gangster, after he broke into a Wendy house in Tafelsig and a group of angry residents allegedly attacked him on Tuesday morning.
His foster mother and aunt, Iona Petersen, told the Cape Argus she was incredibly heartsore. Moments earlier, his body had been collected by a forensic van.
“He was very naughty, he was a member of the Americans. All the time, he was breaking into the people’s houses, robbing them (so he could buy drugs). And I would always get complaints,” she said tearfully.
“They would come to me, I’m his only family, and they would say ‘can you do something?’ I know what he did was wrong, but I asked them not to hit him. Why did they hit him? They could’ve called the police.
“But they killed him, that’s what they did,” she said.
According to police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana, the teenager broke into a home in Bayern Munich Street in Tafelsig about 8.30am on Tuesday.
A woman, who was in the house at the time, ran into the street to call for help.
“But when she returned, she discovered that (Quinton) had locked himself inside.”
It was alleged that neighbours, responding to the call for help, broke into the house where they confronted the youngster.
A resident who witnessed the incident claimed Quinton had been tied up before he was punched, kicked and beaten with a spade.
For Petersen – who raised Quinton since he was a baby – the attack was a tragic end to 16 difficult years.
“His father was never around and his mother couldn’t take care of him. I tried to do good, look after him properly, but he started using tik and smoking marijuana and joined the gangs.
“I had to do it alone… I just wish they had called the police and he would still be here.”
Mitchells Plain CPF chairman Albie Isaacs said he felt deeply sorry for the boy’s family and strongly condemned the attack.
“We personally deem this to be an act of vigilantism, and we are appealing to the community to operate within the framework of the law. We don’t want to become the victims here, because the perpetrators here can expect to face the full extent of the law.”
He said it was inhumane for someone to die under such circumstances and called for arrests to be made as quickly as possible.
Police are investigating the murder, but at the time of going to print no arrests had been made.