The police in Mecklenburg, Limpopo, are looking for a group of suspects who are responsible for the burning down of four houses at Ntsoaneng village near Burgersfort on Sunday afternoon during a ‘witch hunt’, Bosveld Review reports.
According to police brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, it is understood the incident comes after a group of residents accused of three local families of practicing witchcraft following the death of a young resident in December 2017.
The rampaging residents allegedly pursued one of these families until the police intervened and took the family under police protection.
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“At around 14:30 this same group later mobilised and went on to torch four houses which belong to the three families they had previously accused of practicing witchcraft in the village,” he said.
Members of the Public Order Police have since been deployed to the area to assist in stabilising the situation.
Cases of public violence, arson and contravention of the suppression of witchcraft act have been opened for investigation and several culprits have since been been identified.
A manhunt for the accused continues and the police request anyone with information which can lead to their arrests to contact the police on 0860010111 or Capt Mosoma on 0824143070, concluded Mojapelo.
The provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nneke Ledwaba, has condemned in the strongest possible terms, these barbaric acts of vigilantism.
“Residents are strongly warned to desist from accusing others of witchcraft and then resorting to attacks and destruction of properties,” said General Ledwaba. “Those responsible will be hunted down and will be dealt with accordingly,” he concluded.