Four Zimbabwean men accused of terrorising the community met their untimely demise in Setjwetla, Alexandra township South Africa when they were doused with gasoline and burnt to death on Tuesday night. The men were taken from their shacks by the angry community members who meted out instant justice.
Efforts by Bramely police to rescue the suspects were in vain as the community pelted them with stones forcing them to retract and call for backup.By the time they came back with backup, it was too late for the four men. They had already been burnt to ashes and the community members had left the scene.
Head of street patrollers Emmanuel Ramahlo said he received information of the alleged criminals being assaulted by Gatvol community members at around 10 pm on Tuesday night.
“Patrollers tried to take the men away from the mphakathi but the community members were very angry.”They took them away from the patrollers and assaulted them before burning them alive,” he said.
He said Setjwetla has been experiencing a wave of serious crime including murder, rape, armed robbery and assault GBV.He said the men who are thought to be the victims of the attacks, were monitored and on Tuesday night, patrollers raided one of their shacks.
“They found two firearms and equipment suspected to be used to break into people’s houses,” said the patroller.”The first two men were apprehended, beaten, and asked to point out their partners in crime. Two more men were apprehended after they were identified by the first two.”
All four men were taken alongside the busy Vasco Da Gama Road where they were burned after being severely assaulted. Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi confirmed the incident.
Colonel Nevhuhulwi said “It is reported that on 18 July 2023 at about 8.30 pm, the police received a complaint of a murder in progress at Setjwetla in Bramley policing area.
“Upon arrival, the members found a group of people, who pelted police with stones and refused to allow them near the scene. Back-up was called and that is when the group dispersed and police discovered that four men had been burned to death.”The circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear at this stage and no one has been arrested,” she said.
The Scrolla.Africa team reported that a street vendor Adelia Makhwiyana was busy cleaning the ashes when they arrived on the scene.. Blood stains were seen on the ground.Adelia, who sells fruits and vegetables, said the incident happened after she had already knocked off.
“It is traumatising that people died next to my stall. I had to clean so that I could continue working. I don’t have anywhere else to work from,” she said.
Police and the Gauteng crime warden also visited the crime briefly. Setjwetla informal settlement has been in the news recently where street patrollers have been ambushed and some killed.In May this year, shots were fired at five patrollers and two lost their lives.