Mob justice gone awry

2012-02-07 00:00

A MIDLANDS father is sitting in jail after police arrested him for allegedly stabbing to death a teenage boy he accused of attempting to rape his seven-year-old daughter.

Sandile Mshengu (17) died at the hands of a mob who had wanted to hand him over to Hilton police.

But the father would have none of that and is alleged to have stabbed the teen with a knife.

The incident has left two families shattered: that of the jailed father and daughter and that of the boy whom some Hilton Valley residents fingered as the attempted rapist.

Sandile’s father, Thulani Mshengu, told The Witness he was devastated after his son was killed solely on the strength of a rumour.

“No one actually saw him do anything.

“He was killed based on information that someone had heard from someone else.”

Mshengu acknowledged his son was not perfect, but said he did not deserve to die the way he did.

“He had his problems, as he was facing charges on a stabbing incident in this area, but we are very pained over the incident.”

The girl’s family could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Police said the seven-year-old, who was being looked after by an aunt, had been asleep in her room in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The girl told police that a boy she recognised entered her room and ordered her to undress.

She screamed and he fled.

The screams alerted neighbours who formed a group to track down the intruder, but they were unsuccessful.

Later that morning Sandile was fingered by a resident. He was also accused of having broken into a home.

Community members caught up with Sandile at about 7 am and beat him up. The father of the seven-year-old girl is alleged to have pulled a knife and stabbed Sandile to death.

Said Skhumbuzo Mshengu, Sandile’s older brother: “At about 5.30 am on Saturday I was awoken by relatives at my in-laws, who told me that a mob was looking for Sandile as they suspected he had committed various crimes in the course of the night.

“I went out looking for him and I bumped into the mob who thought he was staying with me.”

Sandile was tracked down to the home of a relative. Mshengu, who was unaware of this development, said he went to a house where the alleged housebreaking had taken place.

He and the owner went looking for Sandile.

“On our way we bumped into the mob again. They were now rushing back to their homes and said they had to get to work. None of them mentioned that they had found and killed Sandile.”

He said the mother of the seven-year-old girl was crying hysterically and told him that they had killed his brother.

“The man who killed him went to my aunt and told her: ‘I have killed your dog’,” said Mshengu.

When he got to the scene he found his brother lying dead on the ground, with a stab wound to his back and several injuries on his head.

“What I learned later was that once the group had caught Sandile, they beat him up and decided that they should call the police to arrest him.

“But the father of the child did not want to hear of that and he pulled a knife and stabbed him,” Mshengu claimed.

The father is expected to appear in court soon.

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