Community sets man alight, accusing him of wife’s death

Police say angry community members set the man's house on fire before turning on him. Picture: Limpopo SAPS

Police say enraged community members torched the man’s two rondavels before setting him alight.

A 64-year-old man from Limpopo has become the victim of mob justice, set alight and badly injured after community members from Ngove village in Giyani accused him and his friend of his wife’s disappearance and death.

Limpopo police commissioner General Nneke Ledwaba has condemned “in the strongest terms” the act of mob justice which also resulted in the man’s house being torched on Wednesday night around 8.30 pm.

Police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said community members went on the rampage after the body of  60-year-old Phosa Egnes Maswanganyi, who went missing on Tuesday, 27 October, was discovered hanging from a tree in the nearby bushes.

“The residents then accused the deceased’s husband and his friend of being involved in her disappearance and death. Subsequent to that, they torched the husband’s two rondavel houses and thereafter set him alight. He was badly injured and taken to hospital.

“The Giyani police together with the Public Order Police unit responded quickly to the scene. The crowd had already left and moved to the other house which they also tried to burn. The police responded swiftly and managed to stop them.

“At this stage, the situation is still quiet but the police unit is continuing to monitor the situation in case of any eventualities,” Ngoepe said.

Ledwaba said such incidents of mob justice could not be allowed and called for those behind the act to be “hunted down and brought to book”.

Ngoepe said cases of arson and attempted murder were open.

“The police have launched a manhunt for the suspects involved in this matter. Anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects, can contact Colonel Robert Mudau on 082 729 0351 or the Crime Stop number 0860010111, their nearest police station or MySAPSApp.

“Police investigations are continuing,” Ngoepe said.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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