KZN man accused of theft assaulted, burnt to death

File image for illustrative purposes. Image: iStock

File image for illustrative purposes. Image: iStock

A man accused of stealing a grass-cutter was assaulted and set alight.

Phoenix SAPS is investigating a case of murder after a man was set alight for allegedly stealing from his employer, reports Phoenix Sun.

Provincial police spokesperson, lieutenant colonel Thulani Zwane, said police had initially opened a case of attempted murder. However, when the man died in hospital on Sunday morning, the charge changed to murder.

KwaZulu-Natal VIP security spokesperson Glen Naidoo said they were alerted to the incident on Saturday.

“When we arrived, we found that the man had been set alight by a person who is known in the area. The man was critically injured and was stabilised at the scene before being rushed to a local government hospital. On Sunday, the man succumbed to his injuries,” Naidoo said.

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Zwane confirmed that a case of murder was being investigated at the Phoenix police station.

“We are appealing to the community not to take the law into their own hands. They must report any suspected criminals to the police or hand them over to the police,” he said.

Phoenix SAPS communications officer captain Naidoo said the victim was picked up from his home and taken to his employer’s residence, where, after he was accused of a grass-cutter, two brothers began assaulting him, before pouring petrol over him and setting him alight.

“The victim sustained burn wounds across 98 percent of his body before passing away at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital. Sargeant Levie and captain Jansen responded to the scene,” she said.

Captain Naidoo said anyone with information regarding the incident has been urged to contact the station.

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