QWAQWA, South Africa – A 28-year-old man was assaulted, stoned and sjambokked to death by an angry mob that accused him of being behind a housebreaking incident in the area.
The mob chased the man for about 5km, catching up with and eventually killing him.
By the time the police arrived at the scene, he already succumbed to his injuries.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Thandi Mbambo said allegations were that the man was believed to have broken into a house in Dithotaneng village in QwaQwa, Free State.
She said the mob went to the man’s house and confronted him.
However, the man fled and the mob pursued for 5km and finally caught up with him in Elite, Phuthaditjhaba where he ran into one of the yards and climbed on top of a house.
The mob managed to get him down and he was severely beaten.
“The police were summoned to a mob justice incident at Elite near Phuthaditjhaba with the preliminary complaint indicated that community members have arrested a suspect of housebreaking and are busy assaulting him.
“The police reacted swiftly and on arrival, they found the body that was identified by a family member as that of Petrus Molantoa, lying on the main street of Elite with multiple head injuries and body bruises resulting from being inflicted with stones and sjambok.
Mbambo said they also found a blood-stained knife at the scene which Molantoa had allegedly used to stab one of the people chasing him.
A case of murder has been opened and no one has been arrested yet.
Free State police commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane asked communities to stop killing people suspected in crimes.
“We urge members of community to refrain from taking law into their own hands but handover any suspected person who could have committed crime to their local police without any harm.
“Every person is regarded innocent unity proven guilty before the court of law”, Motswenyane said.