File picture: SAPS Twitter

POLOKWANE - The police in Limpopo have condemned the brutal killing of three unidentified men by residents in the province. 

Limpopo provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba said the men were killed by residents of Dithabeng village in gaMphahlele, outside Lebowakgomo on Friday.

"It all started on Wednesday, 2019-07-31 when nine cattle were allegedly brought to the premises of a certain family in the area by a man from the adjacent village of Makurung for safe-keeping until a trailer to transport them is organised," Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said.

On Friday, the same man returned, driving a bakkie with a trailer, and "before he could take the cattle community members mobilised and accosted a 46-year-old woman whose premises was used to keep the said cattle, threatening to kill her".

"In the process, she was let go after she managed to point out the person who brought the cattle. The already agitated community members allegedly grabbed the man and two others, stoned them, and set them alight."

Police were called and on arrival two men had already been killed and the third one was engulfed in flames and later died on the way to hospital, Mojapelo said.

Ledwana had ordered that "the persons responsible for this inhumane act be hunted down and brought to book". “The police will be merciless when dealing with people who resort to mob justice and kill those they suspect of being criminals.”

The victims were unknown at this stage. The ownership of the cattle had not yet been established, as they had not all been branded. Anyone with information about the incident was requested to contact the nearest police station or call the toll free number 08600-10111, Mojapelo said.

African News Agency