Body of missing Limpopo man found hanging from tree near his village

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Mhlori Maluleke. (Photo: SAPS Limpopo)
Mhlori Maluleke. (Photo: SAPS Limpopo)
  • Limpopo police have found the body of a missing man hanging in a tree near his village, in a stage of decomposition.
  • The man was reported missing in August, which led to community mob justice in which one man was killed.
  • Twenty community members have been arrested and appeared in court.

Limpopo police have found a man, who reportedly went missing in August, hanging from a tree in the mountains near his village.

When 25-year-old Mhlori Maluleke, from Gandlanani village near Giyani, was found, his body was in a stage of decomposition, said Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe.

"The cause of death will still be determined by the ongoing police investigations, including the post-mortem examination," he said.

Maluleke reportedly went missing on 8 August.

After he was reported missing, members of the community "went on [a] rampage", said Ngoepe.

They torched properties belonging to a businessman and two of his employees, after accusing them of being responsible for Maluleke’s disappearance.

 Giyani
An angry mob of people set fire to properties and cars after a sangoma accused a businessman and his employees of involvement in the disappearance of the 25-year-old man. (Limpopo SAPS)

"On that day, a group of community members cornered one of the businessman's employees, aged 52, and thereafter gathered at the local soccer ground.

The residents allegedly consulted a sangoma, who pointed out the three men as the ones responsible for the disappearance of the Maluleke. 

READ: One person injured as angry mob torches 2 houses, 4 cars in Limpopo

Members of public assaulted, burnt and dragged the man to the house belonging to the businessman's mother.

They then torched the property and three vehicles. The man later died in hospital.

"Shortly after that, they moved to the businessman’s residence and pelted his double-storey house with stones, damaging the electric fence and some property," said Ngoepe.

The community then torched a home belonging to a 51-year-old employee.

Twenty suspects - 19 men and one woman - were arrested and appeared in the Giyani Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder, arson, malicious damage to property and public violence.

They were all denied bail and their case was postponed to 27 October for further police investigations


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