Angry residents of Lingelethu near Malmesbury demonstrated outside the magistrates court in the town after a pupil was held at Pollsmoor Prison for seven days, charged with public violence. Photo: Neil Baynes

Cape Town - Angry residents of Lingelethu near Malmesbury demonstrated outside the magistrate’s court in the town on Thursday after a pupil was held at Pollsmoor Prison for seven days, charged with public violence.

Masixole Poswa, 18, has been released on a warning.

He was arrested after Lingelethu residents clashed with police on October 8 when a suspected criminal, Melikhaya Dyasi, 29, they accused of terrorising the community was released from police custody. Dyasi was hunted down by an angry mob and burnt to death in Lingelethu the same day.

Poswa, who is a Grade 10 pupil at Lingelethu High School, was arrested on a public violence charge after being identified as one of the residents who clashed with police.

Malmesbury police spokesman Henry du Rand confirmed that Dyasi had a list of pending cases, including murder, robbery and assault.

“He was a known terror in the community and when he was released after his case of armed robbery was finalised in court, the community became violent and attacked our vehicles,” Du Rand said.

“The public order police unit witnessed Poswa throwing stones at one of their vehicles and tracked him down before arresting him along with five of his friends.

“The (other) five suspects were released, but Poswa was charged and appeared in court before being sent to Pollsmoor.

“He appeared again today (Thursday) and was released on a warning.”

When the Cape Times visited the Poswa residence on Thursday, the family were clearly pleased that their son was home. “I’m so happy he’s out (of) jail. We were worried about what will happen to him so far from home and whether he would miss school exams,” said Poswa’s mother, Ntozini Mosabelo.

Ward councillor Ntobeko Zatu has warned police that if Poswa is prosecuted “the community will make the town ungovernable”.

“The locals have told me they won’t tolerate this sort of nonsense and will cause a major uproar if Poswa goes to jail again,” he said.

Du Rand said the case was still under investigation and Poswa had been asked to appear in court again on November 10.

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Cape Times