Home South African Mob justice: Residents chop off fingers and feet of four ‘thieves’

Mob justice: Residents chop off fingers and feet of four ‘thieves’

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A 25-year-old whose fingers and feet were chopped off in an alleged mob justice attack has died, while three other suspected thieves were rushed to hospital.

This area where the fingers of four suspected thieves were chopped off in Mfuleni. Picture: Mandlilakhe Tshwete

CAPE TOWN – A 25-year-old whose fingers and feet were chopped off in an alleged mob justice attack in Mfuleni has died, while three other suspected thieves were rushed to hospital.

Residents from the Covid informal settlement either ran away or said they were not in the area at the time of the alleged mob justice incident when the DFA’s sister publication the Cape Argus visited the area on Sunday.

But one man who went to collect water from the communal tap said that he heard the commotion take place on Friday night.

“I went to see and I saw the four men being assaulted, it was horrible. They were bleeding and I saw that their fingers and their feet were chopped off. They were accused of stealing. I don’t know what they stole or from whom. They were severely injured; they couldn’t even talk,” he said.

Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said the Mfuleni SAPS opened a murder docket for further investigation following the death of the 25-year-old man, who was found deceased when police responded to the scene in Saxdown Road at around 12.50pm on Friday.

“It was reported to police on arrival that three other men between the ages 20 and 25 were transported to a medical facility after they were allegedly assaulted by a mob, after being accused of committing crime in the community.

“The circumstances surrounding the incident and the motive forms part of an ongoing investigation,” Pojie said.

Social Justice Coalition political educator Bonga Zamisa condemned the incident.

“There are other routes and other avenues that communities could exhaust before taking the law into their own hands.

“This is linked to a wide range of issues. Police don’t patrol in informal settlements and that is one of the contributing factors for mob justice, which is wrong. There is no police visibility and there are no guidelines in informal settlements in terms of how they should patrol.

“This needs a combined approach from all spheres of government making sure that our communities have proper roads and infrastructure. And possibly CCTV cameras, because if an incident like this happened in affluent areas or the CBD there would be sufficient evidence.”

Pojie appealed to anyone with information about the alleged mob attack to contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

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