12 arrested for burning 'witch' alive

Durban - Twelve people have been arrested after a KwaMashu man was beaten and burnt alive two weeks ago by a mob who had accused him of witchcraft.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane described the arrests, which took place on Monday, as a “breakthrough”.

He said that in the early hours of July 19, Jabulani Nkunzikayibekwa Nxumalo, 38, was asleep in his shack at the Qhakaza informal settlement when he was hauled from his bed.

“A group of people allegedly stormed into his house and he was pulled outside and severely beaten. They accused him of practicing witchcraft in the area,” Zwane said.

“Tyres were placed around his body and he was set alight. He died on the scene and his car, which was parked nearby, was set alight as well. Following an intensive investigation the suspects, aged between 18 and 30, were arrested."

They were expected to appear in the Ntuzuma magistrate’s court soon.

The Provincial Commissioner of Police in KwaZulu-Natal, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, strongly condemned the killing and praised police for the speedy arrests.

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