Seven men have been arrested after a sangoma was murdered in a case of mob justice and another man seriously assaulted, Durban police said on Saturday.
Lt-Col Vincent Mdunge said three men were arrested on Friday evening after being identified by community members who were present at the scene in Chatsworth where Philisiwe Macoba was murdered.
The men allegedly murdered the 37-year-old sangoma through assaulting and stoning her to death around 1pm on December 20 in front of a crowd of reportedly 500 people.
This was after a two-year-old girl went missing in Welbedacht East, Chatsworth, around 6pm on December 18.
The mother of the child visited Macoba on December 19 after a rumour implicated her in the child's disappearance. Macoba denied any involvement.
During the same day, security guard Sphamandla Dwala, 22, posed as a prophet and claimed he could assist in finding the child.
He implicated Macoba but as he drove around with community members searching for the child, he jumped from the car and ran away.
On December 20, several community members visited another sangoma in Inanda, 47km north of Chatsworth, where Macoba was also present. The other sangoma said the child was at Chatsworth police station.
This was later proved untrue by community members who visited the station around 8pm that evening.
While still in Inanda, the community members were contacted by other people in Chatsworth and told Dwala had been found. He had been severely assaulted and taken to Albert Luthuli hospital for treatment.
Around 1pm on the same day, Macoba was confronted by community members. She was stoned and assaulted, and died from injuries sustained.
On December 24, Chatsworth police were contacted by the missing child's mother who said her child had been found and was in a place of safety.
Reportedly a family member took the child and did not tell the mother.
Mdunge said apart from those arrested for Macoba's murder, four other men were also arrested on Friday evening for attempted murder following Dwala's assault.
All seven men were expected to appear in the Chatsworth Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. - Sapa