Pomeroy vigilantes: Two more found dead

2012-08-13 00:00

THE death toll from last week’s Pomeroy shooting has risen to nine following the discovery of two more bodies on Friday night.

The victims are alleged to be members of a vigilante group that set up to fight a spate of cattle rustling in the Mahlaba area in Pomeroy.

On Thursday morning, the group went from household to household, breaking down doors and beating inhabitants in an effort to find suspected cattle thieves.

One of the vigilantes’ victims, Kwenzakwakhe Maphumulo, was allegedly assaulted when they demanded that he reveal where he had taken the stolen livestock.

He said he was led into a bushy area in the dark and was being assaulted by the vigilantes when he heard shots being fired.

On Thursday, police discovered six bodies in the veld, believed to be those of slain members of the group. Another person was found with gunshot wounds and was taken to hospital in a critical condition. The body of an eighth victim was found later.

KZN Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane yesterday said that police patrolling the area found two more bodies on Friday night.

Ncalane said MEC Willies Mchunu would visit the area today to meet traditional leaders, councillors and community policing formations.

“In this meeting, the MEC is hoping to establish the root cause of the problem in the area and work with all stakeholders in finding a solution,” he said.

Resident Dlezakhe Buthelezi told The Witness yesterday that community members fear for their lives since the shooting.

“This may result in faction fights in this area as some members [of the victims’ clan] would want to take revenge. We would like the government to help us restore peace and order in this area,” said Buthelezi.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge said no arrests had been made.

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