Mob kills man after murder

2011-11-28 00:00

RESIDENTS of Edendale have taken the law into their own hands following violent attacks on them, allegedly by a group of men from Msinga working in the area.

Malibongwe Chule (27) was attacked and stoned to death on Saturday as he was walking on Moses Mabhida Road between the Edendale BP garage and KwaNtshiza following the fatal stabbing of Siya Nkomo. He was accompanied by a man whom local residents believe was also involved in Nkomo’s murder.

Chule and his companion worked for a business that supplies chopped wood and poles in the area.

A witness who asked to remain unnamed said the group of men carry bush knives, the tools of their trade, and behave “like they are the owners of the area”.

The source said they even bring bush knives into the local taverns, and have attacked patrons.

“It’s been unsafe for all of us to be in the same place with them.”

The locals went looking for the person who stabbed Nkomo last Friday, and attacked the man, whose name is not known, as well as Chule. While the unnamed man managed to run away, the community severely beat Chule with stones and bricks. He died in hospital.

Xolisile Hlophe, the business owner whom Chule and the unknown suspect worked for, said: “I have told them that they should leave my premises as they don’t respect the community we are staying with.”

Sifiso Mavundla of the Plessislaer community policing forum said he tried to calm down the angry people who were attacking Chule and called the police. The police responded quickly, he said, and Chule was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

He confirmed that the forum has been receiving complaints about the group from local residents, but it failed to act because the terrified victims did not want to report the cases.

“The community is sick and tired. We don’t encourage the community to take law into their hands because whoever breaks the law will be prosecuted,” said Mavundla.

Ward 12 councillor Sboniso Majola, who was not aware of the incident when contacted by The Witness, said he will follow this up.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said police are investigating the murder and arrests are imminent. She could not confirm whether there had been any arrests for the murder of Nkomo.

She said police don not encourage vigilantism.

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