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Mob justice man suffered brutal death

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According to the medical expert the deceased died from strangulation and suffered multiple blunt wounds and cuts

ACCUSED: Bokang Sehapi, Khunoan Mafeo, Teboho Michael Ngoanahali, Retshidtswe Ngoanahali, Mamosebetsi Amelia Rhakojane, John Thene and Taeli Raphael Rakhiba appeared in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday.

A MAN who was assaulted and set alight in an apparent mob justice incident in Kimberley, suffered multiple injuries and died a brutal death.

This is according to the medical expert who conducted the post-mortem on the victim.

Testimony from Dr Lemaine Fouchè, heard in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday, indicated that the deceased died from strangulation and suffered multiple blunt wounds and cuts.

Fouchè was testifying in the murder trial of seven Lesotho nationals – Bokang Sehapi, Khunoan Mafeo, Teboho Ngoanahali, Retshidtswe Ngoanahali, Momosebetsi Rhakojane, John Thene and Taeli Rakhiba – who are accused of assaulting and setting Skhukula Mosebetsi alight in Madiba Square on December 31, 2016.

The accused, excluding Rhakojane, are also facing a further charge of contravention of the Immigration Act.

The alleged incident is believed to have happened after the group accused Mosebetsi of assaulting Rhakojane’s daughter.

Previous testimony by the owner of the shanty where the incident is said to have occurred, Shirley van Wyk, identified Rhakojane as the instigator, stating that she gave orders to the angry mob.

Van Wyk broke down yesterday as she told the court that a group of about 15 people assaulted Mosebetsi.

“They beat him over his entire body. There was no body part that they did not hit,” said Van Wyk as she cried.

Fouchè testified that Mosebetsi’s head and neck were also badly burnt during the incident.

“The brain had a slight cooked appearance. The brain matter had already started to harden. That was due to the burning to the body. The skull was fractured. The head and neck were affected the worst, as the underlying tissue and muscles were burnt in the fire,” she said.

Fouchè added that there were also multiple blunt wounds and cuts on Mosebetsi’s body.

“The deceased had a cut to his upper ear. The ear was burnt but the cut was clearly visible. There were fractures to the upper part of the neck. The fractures the deceased suffered are usually caused by manual strangulation. The haemorrhages around the fractured area indicated that force was applied while the deceased was still alive. There were quite a few injuries noted to the head. There was blood in the deceased’s airway. That may be due to the fact that the deceased tried not to swallow the blood, but because of the assault it is possible that the blood ended in the airway. The cause of death was strangulation.”

She said that Mosebetsi was already dead when he was set alight.

“The deceased had already died when he was set alight. The deceased also suffered a lacerated spleen. Excessive force is needed to lacerate a spleen.”

Fouchè explained that the blunt trauma to Mosebetsi’s body could have been caused by the weapons that the mob used during the assault. Previous testimony stated that the group used kieries, pangas, glass bottles and garden forks to assault the deceased.

The trial continues today.