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Malawian killed in Joburg mob attack

By ILANIT CHERNICK Time of article published Apr 18, 2016

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Johannesburg - A 23-year-old Malawian man was killed in a suspected mob justice attack in the Joburg CBD early Sunday.

Three people have been arrested.

The incident happened outside a block of flats on the corner of Eloff and Salisbury streets at about 4am.

According to Joburg Central police spokesperson Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele, the man was visiting his brother.

“The motive is still unclear, but it has been alleged that the man stole a cellphone from someone in the flats. But no one has come forward to say it was their cellphone so we can’t confirm this,” he said.

Mbele said when the group began attacking the man, four security guards tried to step in, but they were also assaulted by the mob.

“This is when they called the police because stones were being thrown at them. He was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics,” he said.

Mbele said all who were involved, including those living in the flats, were Malawian.

“We are hoping the three men arrested will be able to lead us to others.

“A manhunt is under way for other suspects,” he said.

Mbele said the police were watching CCTV footage from the CBD's cameras. He implored community members to refrain from mob justice and allow the police to do their job.

“The problem with mob justice is when community members do it, we have to investigate another case. Someone was murdered here and we now have to open a case of murder.

“As we find those responsible, we have to arrest them and charge them,” he said.

The three men have been charged with murder and will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court soon.

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The Star

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