Five held for trio's necklace deaths
Cape Town - Western Cape police have arrested five suspects in connection with the deaths of three young men who were allegedly killed by a vigilante mob in Lwandle near Strand after accusing them of robbery.
In a statement on Tuesday, police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said: “On Sunday, at approximately 06:00 police were called to a scene at Freedom park in Lwandle where they encountered three males who were allegedly set alight by the members of the community. It was alleged that they robbed one member of the community of a cellphone and cash.
The victim then pointed out the suspects to the members of community who then beat and subsequently burnt them with tyres. The males aged between 18 and 23 succumbed to death and police opened three counts of murder.
“Sterling Police investigation led to the arrest of five suspects on Tuesday morning at approximately 02:00 in relation to this incident,” Van Wyk said.
“The five suspects, aged between 22 and 38, are expected to appear in Strand Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.”
“The arrest is a clear indication that there is trust between the police and the community. Police would like to thank the community for the information they provided that led to the arrest of the suspects. We further discourage the acts of this nature in our communities and people should refrain from taking law into their own hands,” police said.
Van Wyk said co-operation from the Lwandle community had recently seen Lwandle police secure the successful conviction of two accused, aged 33 and 35, for crimes they had committed in 2013. The pair were sentenced to 35 years and 15 years respectively for attempted murder, aggravated robbery, rape and housebreaking and theft at Somerset West High Court in February this year.
“In a separate incident, two accused, aged 27 and 34, were recently sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and robbery aggravated they committed during 2013,” Van Wyk added. “The quality investigation by Lwandle SAPS Detectives ensured their conviction. They were sentenced in Cape Town High Court on 11th May.
“Lwandle SAPS are committed to working with the community in ensuring that the law takes its course and in the upcoming community meetings with the police, incidents of this nature will be discussed.”