A 40-year-old man was rescued from the wrath of an angry community, after he was found with a five-year-old girl who was reported missing, Eastern Cape police said.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said at around 10am on Monday, the 26-year-old mother was informed by her mother that her five-year-old daughter was missing.
“The mother rushed home and learnt from the community that they had seen the child leaving with a man. A case of kidnapping was opened,” Naidu said.
Naidu said on Tuesday morning, the suspect was spotted with the child in York Street in Madeira by the community.
“It is alleged that the suspect was sitting inside the minibus taxi with the child,” Naidu said.
“The community pulled him out of the vehicle and severely assaulted him with stones and sticks. At that stage KSD Law Enforcement officials were patrolling and immediately intervened.”
Naidu said the angry mob increased in numbers and demanded the release of the suspect.
“The suspect was taken to hospital via ambulance for treatment. He is currently under police guard in hospital and will be detained upon discharge on a charge of kidnapping.”
Naidu said the suspect is unknown to the child or her family.
“The child was also taken for medical examination and was reunited with her family. A case of attempted murder is also opened in relation to the suspect’s assault,” she said.
Police are urging all parents and guardians to remain vigilant and ensure that their children especially the little ones, are safe and within sight at all times.
“However, it is essential to remember that taking the law into your own hands, as in this incident, is not the appropriate response.”