File picture: Independent Media

Burgersfort – Four people have been arrested in connection with an incident in Tubatse outside Burgersfort in which a group of community members attacked, shot, and burnt two men to death before throwing them into the open grave of the wife of one of the men during her funeral, Limpopo police said on Sunday.

A dedicated police task team established by provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba had arrested the four suspects, aged between 19 and 59, on Saturday afternoon, Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.

They had been positively linked to the Saturday morning killings and faced charges of murder, malicious damage to property, violation of a grave, and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. More arrests were expected. A 9mm firearm, believed to be one of the weapons used to kill the two deceased, was confiscated. The arrested suspects would appear in the Praktiseer Magistrate's Court on Monday, Ngoepe said.

On Saturday, Ngoepe said it was alleged that the local community were burying one of the murdered men’s wife at the Mashifane village graveyard at about 8am on Saturday morning “when they attacked this man and his friend with various objects”.

“One of the mourners produced a firearm and shot both of them. They burnt them, threw their bodies into the grave, put the woman’s coffin on top of them, and they put soil [in the grave] before they dispersed,” Ngoepe said.

“The police were summoned and reacted swiftly; all three bodies, including the one for the woman, were then exhumed for further police investigations. The motive behind this incident is still unknown, but the police investigations will tell as they are still unfolding,” Ngoepe said.

Anyone with information which could assist in the arrest of the remaining suspects involved should contact Brigadier James Espach at 082-576-0743, or the crime stop number 08600-10111, or the crime line SMS 32211, or the nearest police station.

African News Agency/ANA