File Picture: Matthews Baloyi.
File Picture: Matthews Baloyi.

Suspected teen rapist, 17, and alleged murderer, 27, killed in mob justice attacks

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Jun 24, 2020

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Johannesburg - Free State police are dealing with two separate cases of mob justice in which a 17-year-old teenager and a 27-year old man died after being severely assaulted after being accused of crimes.

Three people have been arrested for the teen's murder, but the man's killers are still at large.

In the first incident, police officers from Heidedal police station were on patrol near Rembrandt Crescent around 2pm on Sunday when they saw two men allegedly assaulting and dragging Mario Gift van Schalkwyk, 17.

Colonel Thandi Mbambo said investigations revealed the community had assaulted Mario over allegations he had been found trying to rape a girl in Opkoms location.

Mbambo said Mario died at the scene and two people, James Collins, 36, Shuwayda Mokoena, 27, were arrested.

The third suspect, Yolandi Jansen, 21, was arrested later.

"They were charged with the murder of  Mario Gift Van Schalkwyk and appeared in Bloemfontein Magistrate Court on Tuesday. The case was postponed to Tuesday 30 June 2020 for formal bail application.

"The detectives are currently establishing if more suspects were involved," Mbambo said.

On the same day, Mbambo said, the community of Bohlokong assaulted Tankiso Nhlapho, 27, after accusing him of murder. They then blocked the roads with burning tyres and stoned passing cars.

Mbambo said allegations were that Nhalpho and Molefe Edwin Letsoaka, 32, were having drinks with friends that was followed by an argument .

Nhlapho allegedly pulled Letsoaka outside the room and stabbed him before fleeing the scene.

"Letsoaka was declared dead on the scene by the Emergency Medical Services. The alleged suspect, Nhlapo was later found and assaulted by the community who then closed the streets with burning tyres and throwing stones at the motorists.

"He also died and no arrests have been made as yet. Anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspect/s is requested to contact an investigating officer, Captain Screamer Tshabalala at 082 453 0794 or can contact police at 08600 10111 or MySAPS app."

In another case in the North West, Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Sello Kwena warned the public to refrain from taking the law into their hands after a naked man was sjambokked and had bricks thrown at him in Lokaleng village, Taung.

Allegations were the victim was suspected of stealing a horse. The assault was captured on video and went viral on social media. 

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said subsequent to becoming aware of the incident which occurred on Saturday, officers traced the accused, who then handed himself over on Sunday.

"The accused, Vuyisile Godhlo, aged 47, appeared in the Taung Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for attempted murder. He was remanded in custody until Wednesday for formal bail application. 

"At the time of the arrest, the accused was on warning and due to appear in court after he allegedly assaulted another man last month in Lokaleng village the same way he assaulted the latest victim," Mokgwabone said.

 The sjambokked man is recuperating in hospital.


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