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One of three people burned to death in Cape 'mob justice' attack identified

Three people have been burnt to death in Hillview. Pictures: Leon Knipe/African News Agency(ANA)

Three people have been burnt to death in Hillview. Pictures: Leon Knipe/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Feb 18, 2020

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Cape Town - One of the three people burned beyond recognition in an apparent mob justice attack in Hillview, Vrygrond, has been identified as 33-year-old Christopher Hanabe, also known as Siya.

Police still have to identify two other victims, a male and a female, who were also killed during Sunday’s incident. According to residents, a street committee patrolling the area had imposed a curfew on the streets from 9pm.

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Footage of the incident that went viral showed people screaming and trying in vain to douse the flames of the victims with sand. This attack comes after two alleged gangsters were also set alight two weeks ago in the same area. This brings the tally of mob justice-related deaths to five.

Local pastor Lorraine Moko said: “There was a group that was formed to patrol in the area. It is unclear what their mandate is or who their leadership is. For me as a child protection officer and lead agent for child protection in that area, it is horrific. The horror is that children and women watched a person being burnt.”

A community leader who was threatened and spoke on condition of anonymity said her fear was

that mob justice incidents could escalate.

Provincial police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said Public Order Police, supported by police from Muizenberg, neighbouring police stations and the City’s law enforcement officials have been keeping an eye on the area.

“Thus far, the investigation has not yet determined the identities of the deceased as the bodies were badly burned,” Potelwa said.

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Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.

@TheCapeArgus

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Cape Argus

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