A member of the community, who was visiting in the area, ran inside to rescue the four-year-old girl just as the fire started
FAMILY members living in the house adjacent to the shanty that was set alight in Vergenoeg on the weekend, believe that the 24-year-old who stays in the backyard is innocent and is the victim of a witch-hunt.
The shanty was apparently torched on Sunday night by angry community members, who were seeking justice for the murder of 16-year-old Tshepiso Thompson, who was robbed of his clothes and sneakers and stabbed to death during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Relatives were meanwhile aggrieved that the 24-year-old man, who was sharing the shack with another 24-year-old man, was constantly being targeted.
“Operation Wanya Tsotsi and the police are always accusing them of being involved in the murders. How can one person single-handedly kill four people?
“He has never been involved with the Destruction Boyz gang, any other gang, or any murder. His home was set alight after he had agreed to co-operate with the police on Sunday. We decided to accompany him to the police station.”
They added that they were alerted to the fire while they were at the police station.
“Although we were promised that we would be transported back home afterwards, no one wanted to give us a lift and we had to make our own way back. My four-year-old daughter could have died as she was alone inside the shanty when the fire broke out. We are not safe here and will not be able to continue living in this house because we are continually being victimised.”
A member of the community, who was visiting in the area, said that she had run inside to rescue the four-year-old girl just as the fire started.
“Luckily, she was not harmed and I managed to get her out before the flames and smoke engulfed the shanty.”
The family members indicated that they wished to be compensated for the damages.
“None of us are employed. We are not saying that he is a saint but it is painful to be on the receiving end of mob justice without hard evidence. Everything was destroyed in the fire including my four-year-old daughter’s clothes, as well as the new double bed that I bought for my son in December. Whenever they ransack the house our possessions, including the television, are damaged.”
They added that another person inside the house was chased and hit in the face with a hammer on Sunday.