CAPE TOWN - A man who paraded as a police officer only to rob people has been stoned and burnt to death in Mfuleni.
It is alleged that the 30-year-old had on occasion worn a fake police uniform and proceeded to stop and search people on weekends, taking their cellphones and money.
He was caught by a group of men in the early hours of Saturday morning while allegedly in possession of stolen items.
According to residents, the suspect drove his own car, and the police uniform he would wear had no tag.
Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said Mfuleni police were investigating murder.
“The circumstances surrounding the death of a 30-year-old male in New Beginning, Mfuleni, in the early hours of Saturday are under investigation.
“Mfuleni police were called to the crime scene in Klipfontein Road, where they found the victim with fatal burn wounds. The victim was declared deceased on the scene by paramedics.
“The motive for the murder is yet to be established. The suspects fled the scene and are yet to be arrested,” said Swartbooi.
A witness and New Beginning resident, who asked not to be named out of fear of reprisals, said many houses in the area had been broken into, including that of her neighbours.
“This guy has been doing this for a very long time, and people believed that he was a police officer because he had the full police uniform.
“He would knock on people’s houses pretending to be searching for something and once he found out that there was no one in the house he would take things such as microwaves, irons, television sets, and other stuff which could be sold.
“He would also stop and search people at night and take their cellphones and money.
“My cousin was once stopped by this guy while coming from a tavern and he took his cellphone. If the guy was a police officer why would he take people’s money and cellphones. Also, he was always by himself and not with his colleagues,” she said.
New Beginning community activist Sibabalo Ntloya said the man confessed when he was caught. “When he was caught he had other stolen items with him, including cellphones and money. He was questioned if he was a real police officer and he confessed that he was not a police officer.
“He did not want to tell where and how he got the police uniform and that is when people started beating him up,” said Ntloya.
Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211.