Mob jus­tice sus­pected af­ter two more killings

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Gareth Wil­son

FOL­LOW­ING three ap­par­ent mob jus­tice at­tacks a week ago, two more peo­ple have been killed in three sus­pected vig­i­lante in­ci­dents in the Veeplaas and Zwide ar­eas.

Po­lice sus­pect this is a con­tin­u­a­tion of last week­end’s spate of sim­i­lar at­tacks that left two peo­ple dead and an­other in­jured.

This brings the to­tal death tally linked to sus­pected mob jus­tice at­tacks to four in the last week, with two men se­ri­ously in­jured.

The lat­est three in­ci­dents hap­pened yes­ter­day when the body of Masixole Gama, 29, was found ly­ing next to the Zwide grave­yard close to Ngx­ongx­ela Street.

“Po­lice re­sponded to a tip-off of a body ly­ing near the bushes. He had sus­tained lac­er­a­tions to his body and was vis­i­bly bat­tered,” po­lice spokesman Cap­tain An­dre Beetge said.

“It ap­pears the de­ceased’s friend man­aged to es­cape and was taken to Dora Nginza Hos­pi­tal.”

A tyre was found ly­ing next to Gama’s body. “At this stage the ev­i­dence points to a mob jus­tice in­ci­dent. We are still try­ing to gather de­tails.”

Beetge said while the mo­tive re­mained un­known, it ap­peared the two had been at­tacked by a mob ac­cus­ing them of com­mit­ting crime in the area.

The body of Luba­balo Zen­zile, 25, was found bor­der­ing the swamp area near the salt pans, about a kilo­me­tre from where Gama’s body had been found.

“He was also beaten and sus­tained stab wounds. At this stage the mo­tive is un­known – how­ever, we are look­ing into whether it is pos­si­bly mob-re­lated,” Beetge added.

By late yes­ter­day de­tec­tives were still pro­fil­ing the Zen­zile and Gama names to see if these were aliases or their real names.

At 1pm, a man claim­ing to be Loy­olo Nd­wayana was found beaten in Magx­aki Street, Kwaza­khele.

Beetge said Nd­wayana, which is believed to be an alias, had been res­cued af­ter res­i­dents started to beat him. “He was taken to hos­pi­tal with ex­ten­sive in­juries from be­ing beaten.”

He said res­i­dents claimed Nd­wayana had been in­volved in sev­eral bur­glar­ies in the area. All six at­tacks hap­pened within the same area of Veeplaas.

Siph­e­sihle “Tsoli” Kala, 20, and his brother, Anele, 23 – both of whom used sev­eral aliases – were killed hours apart last week­end by res­i­dents who believed they were re­spon­si­ble for rob­beries and bur­glar­ies in the area. Siph­e­sihle was stand­ing trial for rape and fac­ing a case of bur­glary – for which he was out on bail – but Anele had no pend­ing cases.

Phakamile Kwesaba, 33, who also uses a string of aliases, was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal with third-de­gree burns to his body in an­other un­re­lated at­tack on Fri­day last week.

Kwesaba, who had pre­vi­ously been con­victed of bur­glary in East London, has had nine crim­i­nal cases against him with­drawn over the past 10 years.

The at­tacks all took place within 3km of each other in the Veeplaas area be­tween Fri­day and Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Yes­ter­day, Kwaza­khele sta­tion com­man­der Brigadier Lin­delwa Vellem said po­lice had em­barked on an out­reach pro­gramme with com­mu­nity lead­ers in an at­tempt to pre­vent fur­ther mob jus­tice at­tacks.

To date, no ar­rests have been made in any of the mur­ders.

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