Left: Dzudzanyani “America” Phathela (33) from Tshituni, was rescued by the police but succumbed to his injuries in the hospital the next day. Right: Corswell Matumba (31) from Ha-Ramantsha village was killed. Photos supplied.
In another incident of mob justice, this time in the Nzhelele area, two suspected criminals, accused of terrorising the communities of Biaba, Tshituni, Mawoni, and surrounding areas, died at the hands of members of the Tshituni Tsha Ntha community.
The two victims and a third accomplice were accused of stealing and robbing people of their cell phones. On Sunday, 26 November, one of the residents at Tshituni Tsha Ntha also fell victim when the three men allegedly robbed him of his phone and cash on the street. The resident alerted the community, who went searching for the thieves. They were found, but one managed to flee. The remaining two thieves ran for dear life but were cornered by the angry mob, who severely beat them with an assortment of objects. One of the victims was set on fire and burnt to death. He was identified as Corswell Matumba (31) from Ha-Ramantsha village. The other victim, identified as Dzudzanyani “America” Phathela (33) from Tshituni, was rescued by the police but succumbed to his injuries in the hospital the next day.
Limpopo Police Spokesperson Brig Hlulani Mashaba said they had launched a massive manhunt for the suspects responsible for these mob murders.
Provincial Police Commissioner Lt-Gen Thembi Hadebe has strongly condemned the brutal manner in which the victims were killed. “We always advise the community to refrain from vigilantism and seek assistance from the police, local leadership, or community-based crime structures, instead of taking the law into their hands,” she said.
Sources who did not want their names mentioned said the communities had grown sick and tired of criminals’ making life hard for them. “These people have terrorised us for far too long. We have had enough of crime in our area, and we have reached a point where we feel that enough is enough. We will clean out these areas of crime. We won’t sit around waiting for the police anymore; we will do it ourselves and rid our areas of criminals,” he said.
The chairperson of the Vhembe Concerned Group, Mr Phathutshedzo Ramabulana, warned the communities against taking the law into their own hands. “Mob justice is a crime on its own, and we urge the communities to hand criminals over to the police, so that they can be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
The police are appealing to anyone with information that can assist them to arrest the suspects responsible for the mob justice incident to report to the Investigating officer, Sgt Thendo Ravele, or call him on 082 319 9558. Alternatively, they can call the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111, report it to their nearest police, or share information anonymously on the MySAPSApp.
News - Date: 01 December 2023
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Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror in 2000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.
Email: [email protected]