Johannesburg – Two men accused of killing two brothers and sisters at six and seven years of age were burned on Thursday morning after their homes were set on fire at Nelspruit, where police said a possible attack was possible.
"Two people were burned to death, and their houses were burned in an apparent vigilance, in the early hours of this morning in Manganduven, Massow near the White River," said Brigadier Leonard Chlati of the office of the police commissar at Mpumalanga.
"This incident is suspected of revenge on the part of the community after the murder of two six and seven-year-old brothers and sisters whose bodies were found yesterday morning in a ditch in the same area."
Telling the events on Thursday that led to the crowd's attack, Chlati said the troubles started when a 24-year-old man was forcibly taken from his house by a crowd.
"He was then forced to bring the crowd to the house of the second victim, a 36-year-old pastor, who, on arrival, grabbed them and burned them alive, just like the house."
The brigadier said police believed that the "crowd of justice" might have been fueled by rumors that make circles, suggesting that young siblings may have removed some parts of the body.
"The police would like to make the protocol straight that the preliminary investigation carried out on the site does not have such missing parts of the body." Community members are also called upon to refrain from reckless rumors, which may have adverse consequences when it comes to sensitive questions like, "said Hlathy.
"Other information suggests that it was possible to consult the sangoma, which in turn pointed to the two slaughtered men responsible for the deaths of the brothers and sisters.
"People are required to provide such information to the relevant authorities instead of dealing with the assault and murder of people."
Hlathi said, despite the engagement that took place between the police and community members shortly after the discovery of young girls, community members continued to take the law in their hands.
"They were unreservedly asked to surrender any information that could lead to the arrest of child killers … the police are disappointed with the behavior of some members of the community," the brigadier said.
He said everyone with information that could help the police investigate the two incidents was called to contact Captain Timothy Mushana on his mobile phone: 082 449 0223.
Police Commissioner Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondly Zuma, warned: "Vigilantism will not be tolerated nor treated as a way to deal with crime, anyone found to have been involved in such acts will be arrested and will be faced with the full force of the law. "
African Information Agency (ANA)