The early Cape Town winter rains add to the bleakness of the landscape at the spot in Khayelitsha township where the latest victims of mob justice were burnt alive.
A nest of charred tyres used to necklace the three men, accused by the mob of stealing a generator from a church, is the only evidence of their violent deaths.
“I can still hear them screaming in agony as the black smoke and flames shot\ up in the air,” says Nokwakha Baleni as she braais curried chicken feet for sale outside her shack.
“That’s what happens here when you rob people or break into their houses.” Her cousin Ntombazane Makhezwa joins us and says she will never forget the smell of burning flesh that hung in the air for hours afterwards.
“Some of the mob were singing and shouting ‘mabafe’ (let them die) as the flames grew higher,” she says. “There were even children there watching and screaming.Children shouldn’t be allowed to witness gruesome murders like that.”
The current killings came just days after police found the bodies of Sivuyile Rola (28), Luxolo Mpomtshane (25) and Mabhuti Matinise (20) in the sand dunes of the Cape Flats.
The three men from Harare Section 33 in Khayelitsha were cornered and accused of stealing a plasma TV set
by an angry mob, who tortured them for nine hours until they died.
Read more in DRUM Magazine - 17 May 2012