Mob necklaces man in Masiphumelele

File photo

File photo

Published Oct 11, 2015

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Violence has again flared in Masiphumelele, with a fourth man being necklaced in an apparent mob attack, despite intense police focus on the area to try to prevent further killings.

In the latest incident, the fourth apparent vigilante murder in the community in less than a month, a man was set alight early on Saturday.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said the incident occurred at 12.45am.

No arrests were made and the motive for the murder was being investigated.

Masiphumelele has recently been rocked by the killings and a massive protest, which about two weeks ago saw more than 1 000 residents clash with police who fired rubber bullets and tear gas to try to disperse them.

Even though police have increased operations and focus on the area, community leaders have repeatedly vowed to keep going after anyone they suspect of committing crimes.

Yesterday, before confirming a fourth murder, Traut said an adequate number of police officers were deployed in Masiphumelele daily “to ensure that the law is not taken into the hands of the community”.

He said police were monitoring protests and violent outbursts, and using the information they gathered to plan how they would then later deploy members.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato, who visited the area about two weeks ago and who promised to return to again meet residents, said yesterday he would discuss the latest killing with acting provincial police commissioner Thembisile Patekile when they met on Tuesday.

“I’ll put it to him that we need to hold an imbizo there,” Plato said.

He recently also visited Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay, where two residents were killed in mob attacks about two months ago.

“I was shocked. In both areas people were saying they are beginning to take the law into their own hands. They believe they have the right to do so.”

Plato wanted to return to Masiphumelele along with police officers to discuss the way residents felt.

The spate of killings started in Masiphumelele on September 15, when two men were murdered hours after 14-year-old Amani Pula was found killed and apparently raped in his home there. That same morning the teen’s body was found, a 24-year-old woman was raped in a separate incident.

About three weeks ago residents then fatally attacked a man and beat another.

They suspected the duo of having carried out burglaries in the area.

Seven men were arrested during the attacks on the two men and when they appeared in court a week later, after being held in custody, this sparked a massive protest with the more than 1 000 residents turning on police.

Sunday Argus

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