Cape Town - A Khayelitsha man was caught by a mob which beat him and then necklaced him in Enkanini informal settlement. The man, a suspected thief, was found in Baden Powell Drive on Friday, and residents at the scene said his accomplice had escaped.

Tyres were found next to the body of the 28-year-old man.

Residents said the suspects had been involved in robberies in the area for a while.

Amos Bango, the chairman of Sanco in Enkanini informal settlement, said on Sunday that residents lived in fear of thugs. He said residents who witnessed the incident told him the men were committing robberies. “We understand the suspects were not from this area. They were from section 32 of Makhaza (a neighbouring township).

“These boys wake up very early in the morning and go to the train station and pretend to be commuters. They then rob people - mostly women - of their belongings. The women then scream and that is when members of the community come out and start chasing the robbers,” he said.

Robberies took place in the area weekly, he said. “This was the same case with this incident. As a committee, we are unable to handle residents’ anger. Apparently this suspect was chased, beaten and set alight. This happens because residents do not want to be identified, so they decide to take the law into their hands,” Bango said.

Police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana said no one had been arrested in connection with the murder.

“Police have opened a murder case for investigation. The circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown and no arrests have been made,” Kinana said.

He said anyone with information should phone the nearest police station or call Crime Stop number 086 001 0111.

Enkanini informal settlement was identified by the Social Justice Coalition to the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry as a hot spot for vigilante killings. The area was visited by the commission in February. The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry is investigating alleged police inefficiencies and a breakdown in relations between them and residents.

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Cape Times