Police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, said they are investigating cases of attempted murder and public violence after residents went on a rampage and burnt Chief Bevhula’s house, Letaba Herald reports.
Brigadier Mojapelo said that earlier in the day, the police had arrested three men for contravening a court order.
The three suspects were allegedly the ring leaders of residents who opposed the chief’s decision to allow the Kruger National Park to have a buffer zone in the area.
“With the men defying the court order, the chief opened a case and subsequently the three suspects were arrested.
Upon hearing of the arrest, the residents demanded their immediate release and charged to the chief’s kraal,” said Mojapelo.
He said the unruly mob threw petrol bombs at the house of the chief and set it alight with the chief still inside.
The police rescued the chief, but the crowd managed to assault him as he was being taken away.
Two police officers were injured and two police vehicles were damaged during the incident.
The injured officers are still recuperating in hospital.
The Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, condemned these acts of mob justice and vigilantism and has urged community members to resolve their issues amicably.
Members of the Public Order Police have been deployed in the area to monitor the situation.
Police are still searching for the suspects in the cases of attempted murder and that of public violence.
Arrests are imminent.
Anyone with information is requested to contact the nearest police or call the toll free number 086001011.