File photo: Skyler Reid

RUSTENBURG - Two men were killed in separate incidents of mob justice in Brits at the weekend, North West police said on Monday.

Colonel Adele Myburgh said incidents occurred on Sunday, in the first incident at Letlhabile outside Brits, the police were called to a local clinic and informed that a patient died after being brought in following an alleged assault at Newline Section, in the Maboloka village.

"Preliminary investigations revealed that the unidentified victim was an alleged suspect in an armed robbery case recently reported in Letlhabile. According to information received, the victim in the armed robbery case, caught the victim and allegedly took him to his congregation that was in a night vigil. The alleged robber was then assaulted and died later the same day at the clinic," she said.

In the second unrelated incident in Skierlik near Brits, police arrested an man for allegedly assault another person. He was placed in the police vehicle for his own safety, awaiting the ambulance because he was allegedly beaten up by community members.

"Allegedly, about 300 community members quickly gathered and demanded the release of the suspect. As the number of members of the community increased, they became uncontrollable and poured the police vehicle with paraffin and assaulted police officers." she said.

"One of them sustained injuries on his face due to stones that were pelted at them. In the process, members of the community managed to remove the suspect from the police vehicle and assaulted and ultimately set him alight. He was certified dead on the scene."

Police back up arrived and stabilised the situation.

"A report was received that the 22-year-old assault victim also died later due to his injuries."

Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane condemned the incident, saying incidents of lawlessness, including incidents of mob justice that often lead to killing of innocent persons, cannot be tolerated.  

She warned members of the  community that the police will not hesitate to deal with those who were responsible for these illegal acts.  

African News Agency (ANA)