Pretoria – A 37-year-old woman, believed to be a loan shark (mashonisa), was brutally killed last night at Salema village in Limpopo’s Saselamani policing precinct, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said on Tuesday.
Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, provincial SAPS spokesperson, said the woman was killed at around 10pm on Monday night.
“The police received a complaint about a vigilante incident at the said village in which a mob intended to burn the house of a 37-year-old woman believed to be a money lender. The police rushed to the scene and discovered that the mob had tied the victim to her motor vehicle and dragged her to the bushes,” said Mojapelo.
The mob then started throwing stones at police officers who were searching for the woman.
“The crowd was dispersed with the use of rubber bullets, and police managed to rescue the victim who was tied and dragged with a motor vehicle between Salema and Xikundu villages,” said Mojapelo.
“Afterwards, the mob torched the victim's house and damaged a Toyota motor vehicle, both valued at R200 000. The victim was later transported to Malamulele Hospital, but she subsequently succumbed to her injuries upon arrival.”
The SAPS has identified the slain woman as Basani Portia Shuma, from Salema village.
She was accused by the mob of being responsible for the disappearance of a local man, who allegedly went missing two weeks ago.
“Police have opened murder, public violence, arson and malicious damage to property cases, and a manhunt for the suspects had since been launched,” said Mojapelo.
“Anyone with information that can assist with investigations and apprehension of the suspects should urgently contact Detective Sergeant Rhulani Ngobeni on 072 253 3177 or crime stop number 0860 010 111 or nearest police or My SAPS App.”
Meanwhile, the acting provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Major General Jan Scheepers, has “strongly” warned community members who perpetuate acts of vigilantism that “the police will be relentless in hunting them down and bringing them to book”.
Earlier this month, the police in Limpopo said a 59-year-old man died after he was attacked by an angry mob who accused him of stabbing a 76-year-old man to death.
“The incident took place (on Saturday) 2 April 2022, at about 3pm at Ndindani village in the Giyani policing area. The police responded to a scene where two men were found lying in a pool of blood,” police spokesperson in Limpopo, Lieutenant Colonel Mamphaswa Seabi, said at the time.
The first victim, identified by police as Mkacani Solomon Chabalala, aged 76, was certified dead on the scene.
“The second victim, aged 59, who was allegedly assaulted by a mob, was transported to the nearby hospital where he later succumbed to the injuries. He was identified as Ben Shivuri,” Seabi said.