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Man killed by mob for alleged housebreaking

Staff Reporter

Police are investigating circumstances surrounding the death of a 28-year-old man who was allegedly beaten to death by a mob after he was suspected of breaking into a house on Thursday morning.

Free State provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said the man, who has been identified as Petrus Molantoa from Dithotaneng Village in QwaQwa, was allegedly killed in an act of mob justice at Elite near Phuthaditjhaba.

Mbambo said the man was allegedly chased from his house following the allegations of housebreaking.

She said the man tried to hide on top of another house but the crowd caught up with him and allegedly beat him until he died.

“Phuthaditjhaba police were summoned to a mob justice incident . . . at about 07:30,” said Mbambo.

“. . . the preliminary complaint indicated that community members had arrested a suspect for housebreaking and were busy assaulting him,” she added.

The police rushed to the scene and, on arrival, they found the man lying on the main street of Elite with multiple head injuries and body bruises inflicted by stones and sjamboks.

The police also found a blood-stained knife alleged to have been used by the deceased to stab one of the people chasing him.

It is believed the man was chased from Dithotaneng Village where he allegedly broke into a house.

A case of murder is now being investigated.

Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane has warned people against meting instant justice on alleged criminals as it could cost life.

“We urge members of the community to refrain from taking the law into their own hands, but hand over (to the police) any person who could have committed crime without harming them. Every person is regarded innocent until proven guilty before a court of law,” said Motswenyane.

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