Suspected robber stoned to death, set alight in NW mob attack
RUSTENBURG - A suspected robber was stoned to death and set alight in Barkerville outside Lichtenburg on Monday, North West police said.
Spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said the police received a business robbery complaint at about 7.45am at one of the tuck shops at Bakerville.
"According to information received, the victim had just opened the tuck shop when [the] unknown and unconfirmed number of suspects confronted him," he said.
"The suspects allegedly robbed the victim of an undisclosed amount of cash and cellphones before fleeing the scene in a white Toyota Corolla. A chase ensued after members of the community responded when they heard the victim screaming for help. It is alleged that one of the suspects who was in one of the getaway cars that was parked not far from the scene, [he] was apprehended, stoned to death and allegedly burnt by members of the community. The incident was also captured [on video] and thereafter circulated through social media platforms."
When the police who were responding to a business robbery complaint arrived, they were confronted by violent members of the community who allegedly burnt the suspects’ vehicle.
"The police later managed to arrest two of the suspects, aged 37 and 46. A search for the other suspects continues," he said.
A separate case of murder has been opened for investigation and no one has been arrested.
North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane condemned the mob justice incident.
She warned that taking the law into one's own hands was unlawful and would not be tolerated.
"The public must understand and accept that while we need their support in the fight against crime, the rule of law must always be applied and obeyed. Taking someone’s life is a criminal act and punishable by law. The incident of mob justice which occurred today [Monday] in Bakerville cannot be allowed and will eventually land those who are responsible into trouble with the law," she said.
"We plead with the public to work with legally established structures such as Community Police Forum [CPF] in the fight against crime."