Four people were killed in a mob justice attack on a farm in Mpumalanga on Monday, 10 May 2021.
According to the police, a group of unidentified people assaulted the four men who were attempting to steal livestock from Troya farm before setting their vehicle alight.
“Police were summoned to Troya farm near Ga-Matimpule village in Vaalbank and on arrival found a vehicle believed to be an Isuzu Club Cab with four human remains inside burnt beyond recognition,” police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said in a statement on Tuesday.
“According to information, on Monday four unknown men were seen stealing goats, loading them onto a white bakkie when community members spotted and tried to intercept them.
“The men then reportedly fired shots at them, but they were eventually overpowered by the mob which in the process assaulted them before setting them alight inside their vehicle.”
Hlathi also said one of the community members was in hospital receiving medical care after he was shot during the incident.
Rising mob justice cases
The latest incident has raised concerns about the rising number of mob justice cases reported in Mpumalanga recently.
In a separate incident, a 40-year-old man succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Monday after being rescued by the police from an angry mob.
It was alleged that the man had assaulted a 34-year-old woman at Magudu Trust near Tonga on Sunday, which saw community members attack him.
“The man was arrested the same day and taken to Tonga Hospital under police guard, where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries the following day,” Hlathi said.
In another incident, four suspects were arrested after murdering a young man last week, who was accused of theft.
The suspects, aged between 18 and 46, are expected to appear in the Kabokweni Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for a bail application in a murder case.
“In Lydenburg last week, five people were assaulted by community members who accused them of criminality and two men died while three were hospitalised,” Hlathi said.
Acting Mpumalanga police commissioner Major-General Thulani Phahla urged community members to report incidents of crime or provide information to the police instead of taking the law into their own hands.
“Taking the law into your own hands is a crime which is punishable by law,” Phahla said.