Suspects now victims

2016-11-30 06:00
Nomsa Mazibuko’s house in Phutanang was torched by an angry mob on Wednesday (23/11) and Thursday (24/11) after she and her co-accused had been acquitted by the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court in connection with Keitumetse Magwadibane (5) who had gone missing. Photos: Boipelo Mere

Nomsa Mazibuko’s house in Phutanang was torched by an angry mob on Wednesday (23/11) and Thursday (24/11) after she and her co-accused had been acquitted by the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court in connection with Keitumetse Magwadibane (5) who had gone missing. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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The Galeshewe police are still following leads in a case of arson after members of the community torched the house of Nomsa Mazibuko on Wednesday (23/11) and Thursday (24/11).

The angry community members reportedly resorted to mob justice following the magistrate’s ruling to remove the case of the missing Keitumetse Magwadibane (5) from the court roll due to no evidence linking Mazibuko and her co-accused to the case.

Keitumetse went missing in July in Promised Land, and her pants were later found in Mazibuko’s house.

It is suspected that Joseph Mgobo, Mazibuko, Maruping Magwabone and Clarens Mkhonto, are at a safe house, as they have been nowhere to be seen ever since their release from jail.

Everything inside Mazibuko’s house has been destroyed by fire.

According to a few community members who were sitting under a tree near the destroyed house, no one knew what had happened.

“It seems like it was ‘Vutha’, because we all just saw a fire.

“But the owner must not even think about coming back,” said one of the youngsters.

They added that no one would even bother to loot any of the items from Mazibuko’s yard, because it was cursed.

According to the neighbourhood-watch Wanya Tsotsi, the community’s anger had been sparked by the dissappointment that their only leads in finding the little girl had been taken away from them by the court of justice.

“We relied completely on the justice system,” said Tebogo Obusitse of the group.

“We are the ones who made the effort of handing over the suspects to the police after the parents had positively identified Keitumetse’s pants, that were found in Mazibuko’s house.

“That was a positive enough link for us.”

Obusitse added that although they were not aware of any body parts found in Mazibuko’s house, it was difficult to control an angry mob.

“We want the suspects to return to society after a trial, but here it is difficult.

“How does anyone find closure in a situation like this?

“All we can do is continue to pray to God that we find something, even her remains.”

He said the only links to the case were set free to walk the streets, or were sent to a place of safety while the parents have sleepless nights.

“That is not fair at all,” emphasised Obusitse.

Regarding the placement of the suspects in a place of safety, the police, through Col Ramatseba Mohale, responded that they could not comment on any safety measures regarding the suspects due to security measures.

Mohale confirmed that the police continued to patrol the area and were being proactive through following leads after complaints of safety were raised by all suspects, who are now victims.

  • Anyone with information is requested to contact the Galeshewe police on the Crime Stop toll free number 08600-10111. Read more on p. 2.

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