Picture: Pixabay

JOHANNESBURG - Three men, aged between 35 and 47, and a 47-year-old woman will appear at the Kabokweni Magistrate's Court for burning to death two men accused of killing a pair of siblings, aged six and seven, Mpumalanga police said on Monday. 

In April the men - a pastor and his nephew, aged 35 and 25 respectively - were burnt to death after their houses were torched in Mganduzweni near White River in what police said was a possible revenge attack.

Police spokesperson Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe said: "This incident is suspected to be a retaliation by the community following the murder of two siblings aged six and seven whose bodies were discovered on April 24 in a ditch, in the same area.

"The men were killed after they were reportedly fingered by a sangoma as being responsible for the killing of the siblings," said Bhembe.

Bhembe said Tshepiso Mokoena, 22, believed to have been instrumental in the disappearance and murder of the young girls, as well as that of a 20 year old woman, Khensani Sambo, was arrested last week.

"The suspect, who is reportedly related to the young girls, claimed that on the fateful day, he had taken the two victims and handed them over to some people, who then murdered them."

"Mokoena, briefly appeared at the Kabokweni Magistrate’s Court for the murder of Sambo and was remanded in custody.  He will reappear at the same court on Wednesday."

Bhembe said police investigations were ongoing and more people were expected to be arrested.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma condemned acts of vigilantism by members of the community as they have the potential of having innocent people falling victims to the uncontrollable ire of the community.

The four suspects are facing two counts of murder and two counts of arson.

African News Agency (ANA)