Two women stripped naked, set alight after missing boy's body found in river

accreditation
Three houses that were set alight in a suspected mob justice attack in Limpopo (Supplied)
Three houses that were set alight in a suspected mob justice attack in Limpopo (Supplied)

Limpopo police on Saturday condemned the murder of two women in an apparent mob justice attack that followed the discovery of a missing boy's body in a river.

The boy, 12-year-old Thabelo Muila, was reported missing on June 10 after he disappeared while playing with his friends.

His body was retrieved from a river around the Ha-Mashau village at around 10:00 on Friday, said Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo. He said residents gathered to discuss this and mobilised at around 22:00 that evening.

"[They] attacked the two women with various objects, stripped them naked before setting them alight."

Police and medical emergency staff responded to frantic calls made from the area and when they arrived, they found that the women had been badly burnt.

"One woman was certified dead on the scene whereas another died later in hospital. When the police arrived at the scene, the crowd had already dispersed," said Mojapelo.

Preliminary investigation revealed that after the attack, the crowd proceeded to a yard owned by a 79-year-old man and burned all three of his houses.

He managed to escape without injury.

The women were identified as Hulumeni Sarah Masiagwala, 66, and Mudziwa Esther, whose age was not known. They were both from Matsindevhe village.

Police were investigating two cases of murder, arson and an inquest.

Mojapelo said public order police were deployed to the area to monitor the situation.

Two suspects, aged 16 and 17, were arrested on Saturday afternoon and more arrests were expected.

Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba condemned the incident.

"The police will continue to deal mercilessly with every person who resorts to taking the law into their own hands. Community members are warned to refrain from these heinous acts and they should instead co-operate with the police."

Anyone who has information that could lead to the arrest of other suspects, can contact Detective Warrant Officer Mudogwa Mutshutshu on 072 107 6731, Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or the nearest police station.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Children between 12 and 17 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19. As a parent I am:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Relieved, it's been a long wait to this point
50% - 1033 votes
A bit hesitant, and will wait to see how it goes
22% - 443 votes
Completely against my child getting the shot
28% - 578 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.47
-0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.99
-0.6%
Rand - Euro
16.85
-0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.85
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.1%
Gold
1,785.45
+0.2%
Silver
24.21
-0.4%
Palladium
2,066.00
-0.2%
Platinum
1,051.50
-0.1%
Brent-ruolie
85.82
+0.9%
Top 40
59,674
-1.0%
All Share
66,189
-0.8%
Resource 10
61,545
-2.6%
Industrial 25
85,379
+0.1%
Financial 15
13,931
-0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE