Polokwane - South African Police Service (SAPS) officers and paramedics have rescued two men after they were seriously assaulted and thrown into a deep water hole in an apparent mob justice incident, Limpopo police said on Sunday.
Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba condemned in the strongest possible terms the seemingly persistent incidents of mob justice that had become prevalent in some parts of the province, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said.
"The latest harrowing incident of people being severely assaulted and then thrown into unused deep water requires stern reaction and the police will be relentless in pursuing all responsible persons.
"In what could be regarded as the most inhumane and barbaric incident, the community of Moletjie Diteteng spotted two men from the adjacent village of ga-Mabiloane roaming the streets in the company of a person they suspected of being responsible for the spate of thefts of plasma TV screens in their area and started mobilising. They then grabbed the two men, started severely assaulting them, and later threw them into an old water deep hole that was used to supply water to the local community," Mojapelo said.
"Police were alerted and reacted swiftly, and on arrival the two victims could still be spotted from the deep hole. Members of the South African Rescue Service (SARS) and the EMS were summoned and on arrival they succeeded in rescuing the two victims using their appropriate robes. The were taken to hospital for medical treatment."
In a separate incident at Makhurumela village in the Maleboho policing precinct, police were investigating cases of murder and kidnapping after two men were kidnapped and assaulted. One of the men later died in hospital.
"As the police, we will not tolerate any acts of vigilantism and mob justice, and people who resort to taking the law into their own hands will be dealt with mercilessly. Anyone with information is requested to contact the nearest police or call the Crime Stop number 08600-10111," Mojapelo said.
African News Agency/ANA