A 32-year-old man was allegedly tied up with rope at a community meeting in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, 20 July. Later his burnt body was found in a nearby forest, prompting a police investigation.

BURNT BODY FOUND IN FOREST, SAY POLICE

The community meeting allegedly took place at Komkhulu Location, Kei Farm Village in Centane on Tuesday. South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Captain Siphokazi Mawisa said Komkhulu community members allegedly tied the deceased up with a rope.

When the deceased’s brother went to search for him and investigate what was happening he was chased away by community members, according to the police. “Later on, the deceased body was found torched and dumped in a nearby forest,” said Mawisa.

A murder investigation has been opened and no arrests have been made. Meanwhile, Mawisa said the circumstances surrounding the incident form part of the investigation.

Brigadier Ngangema Xakavu, the acting district police commissioner of the Amatholde District, condemned the incident and warned that those who take the law into their own hands will face the full might of the law.

“The police will not rest until the perpetrators are behind bars,” said Xakavu.

Earlier this year South Africa was shocked by a vicious vigilante attack when members of the Zandspruit community near Gauteng burnt eight men to death. The community accused the deceased of being a terror to people in the area.

“Communities have tended to take the law into their own hands because of their lack of faith in the criminal justice system,” said Gauteng Manager of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), Buang Jones.

“This is due to shoddy investigations by the police, lack of conviction by the NPA and as a result of this lack of faith, we have seen a resurgence of mob justice incidents.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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