Police spokesperson Captain Louise Steynberg said an angry crowd suspected the old woman and her husband had been involved in the death of an eight-year-old child a few weeks ago, Rekord Centurion reported.
Steynberg added a postmortem revealed the child had died of exposure to excessive voltage caused by an open live electrical cable. No foul play was suspected.
The deceased and her husband are known as traditional healers in the Laudium area. The mob suspected they might have killed the child for muti, said Steynberg.
Police managed to rescue the man after he was severely assaulted, but the woman died after a tyre was put around her chest and set alight on Saturday.
Twitter was buzzing in reaction to this incident:
#Iterileng An elderly woman was burnt to death last night.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) March 15, 2015
Confirmed that an elderly woman from Mozambique was burnt to death last night in Itereleng for allegedly killing a boy on the 25th February
— Laudium Today™ (@LaudiumToday) March 15, 2015
@expressoshow yoo guys i stay in LAUDIUM,that was the worst thing I've ever seen in my life a woman being burned to ashes
— Lyshaine (@lyshaine1) March 16, 2015
Meanwhile, three men were arrested on Saturday night for their involvement in public violence.
An angry crowd of more than 500 residents from the Itereleng informal settlement, near Laudium, gathered in front of Laudium police station on Sunday afternoon, demanding the release of the men, police said.
The crowd later split into two groups and marched down the streets of Laudium.
Police intervened when the crowd started stoning houses and vehicles.
Steynberg said police were in talks with the crowd to try and disperse them.
“I cannot confirm at this stage if police fired rubber bullets at the crowd. I can confirm that police were escorting the two groups to ensure the safety of residents,” added Steynberg.
In a separate incident, a crowd from a squatter camp in Lindhaven, west of Johannesburg burned down the house of a man they believed had killed someone in the area.
“A group of people went and attacked the house and burnt it down last night,” Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said.
“The community members suspected the owner of the house killed the person who was found dead,” added Makhubela.
The man and his family managed to escape.
– Caxton News Service