Chairperson of Tlhabane Community Policing Forum, Israel Maimane received heroes welcome outside the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court. The murder case against him and another man was not enrolled and they were set free. They were accused of killing a Nigerian man, the man was alleged to be a drug dealer. PHOTO: Molaole Montsho/ANA

Rustenburg - Two men, accused of the murder of a Nigerian man, were released at the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The case was not enrolled as the prosecution wanted the police to investigate the matter thoroughly, and the two men were released without appearing in court.

Speaking outside court after his release, deputy chairman of the Community Policing Forum (CPF) in Tlhabane, Israel Maimane said he was linked to the murder case after he went to several known drug dens in Rustenburg Noord asking for telephone contact details of house owners and told them to evict their tenants as they were selling drugs from those house.

"I went to several houses, the next day the Nigerian guy was found dead. I was the suspected of his murder and arrested, I did not know how he die," he said.

"The police are doing nothing to uproot drugs in our area, I went several to the police in Tlhabane with information about drug houses. I went to the police before the situation in Rustenburg became volatile nothing was done, if the police had acted this situation prevailing in Rustenburg could have been resolved."

He said he was being victimised in an attempt to silence those rising-up against drug trafficking and prostitution in Rustenburg.

"As CPF we are fighting against drugs, we thought the police were on our side, the case is the police are not on our side the police are fighting us, that is why were incarcerated."

He said it was not for the first time that he was arrested.

"I was once arrested for house robbery, I took out stuff [drugs] from a house together with dog unit members, when we were registering the drugs at the police station we were charged with house robbery."

The unnamed Nigerian man was found dead at a stream in Rustenburg, he had been accused of being a drug dealer. He was allegedly bundled into a minibus taxi together with another Nigerian man on Thursday, and he was found dead on Friday.

Maimane and another man arrested with him received a heroes welcome when they emerged out of he Rustenburg Magistrate's Court. The small crowd ululated as he punched the air with a clinched first, he was carried shoulder high to mark his freedom.

His lawyer Cornelius Mosito said he was linked to another case of malicious damage to property.

"He is released on the murder case and was supposed to be in custody on the malicious damage to property but, now he is released we assumed that case also will not be enrolled. I will check later this afternoon on whether the other four people arrested on this charge will be released," he said.

Two Rustenburg councillors were reported to be on the police wanted list for allegedly holding an illegal gathering at the Rustenburg police station boardroom.

They were alleged to have been part of Rustenburg Noord residents who went to the police station on Saturday, to demand the release of the people arrested for malicious damage to property.

The Rustenburg local municipality said instead of addressing drug and prostitution, the police were focusing on arresting community members and councillors.

It said councillors went to the police station to calm the situation, after irate community members went to the police station to demand the released of six people.

"This clearly risks stirring the community's anger towards the Rustenburg police," the municipality said in statement.

Locals have vowed to repel any attempt to divert them from fighting drug trafficking. They alleged a group of Nigerian travelling in about 50 vehicles stormed Noord on Sunday night and attacked locals.

"We are not going to allow this, we are fighting back," said one young man who declined to be identified.

North West police said five cases of robbery common, assault common and robbery aggravating were opened relating to Sunday incident.

"The incidents occurred late in the evening on Sunday, 21 January 2018 in Rustenburg North. The complainants alleged that they were assaulted and robbed of their cell phones, a wrist watch and cash by foreign nationals. No one has been arrested and investigation into the matter continues," said Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone.

African News Agency/ANA