Community takes the law into their own hands

2018-07-25 06:01

AN UNIDENTIFIED man is fighting for his life in hospital after he was assaulted by members of the community in Imbali Unit 2 last Thursday.

It is alleged that the man had entered one of the houses in Imbali Unit 2 and stolen a cellphone and an undisclosed amount of money.

According to an eye witness who spoke to Echo, the man was with a friend while he was being beaten by the community.

The eyewitness, who refused to be named, said: “I was coming from town, driving home to Imbali Unit 1, when I saw a large group of people. When I went to see what was happening, I saw a man being beaten. People were cheering, saying that he must be taught a lesson.

“He was beaten so badly and boiling water and petrol was poured over him. They wanted to burn him alive.

“He was crying, insisting that he did not steal the cellphone. He was begging them not to kill him. I just couldn’t stand seeing that cruelty.

“I drove to the police station in Imbali Unit 2 to report the matter but they said they did not have any vans available. They said they would ask Plessislaer Police Station for help.

“I went home and went back to the scene after 30 minutes but there was no police present yet.

“I had to drive to Plessislaer Police Station to get the police to go to the scene but, even when I got there, they showed no interest, saying that they did not receive any report from Imbali police station,” she said.

She said she had to call Musa Zondi, who works at the Police Ministry, to report the matter in order for local police stations to attend the crime scene.

When Echo visited Imbali Unit 2 on Monday, community members were talking about the incident, saying that they were tired of thieves that break into their houses and steal from them.

They have vowed that they will make it their job to teach thieves in the area a lesson.

One resident said that their biggest challenge was people from outside Imbali Unit 2 coming and stealing from them and then running away.

“We sit here and accuse each other while the real thieves are out there, walking free. The sad part is that even if we catch them, and get them arrested, a few days later you will see them roaming around the streets again.

“We are tired now of these ‘whoonga boys’, because they are the ones who do this., he said.

Resident Sboniso Majozi said: “We live in fear in our own homes because of thieves. Whenever you need to leave your house, you have to think about the bad things that will happen.

“It does not matter whether it is during the day or at night — these thieves are always on a mission to steal.”

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said the police are investigating a case of assault and that two people have been charged in connection with the incident.

“Nomzamo Nxele and Jabulani Cebekhulu are facing charges of assault. They appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate Court on Monday,” Ngobese said.

Echo tried to obtain details as to why police did not respond to the scene when the source reported the matter twice, but no information was received at the time of going to print.

“He was crying, insisting that he did not steal the cellphone. He was begging them not to kill him. I just couldn’t stand seeing that cruelty.”

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