Two suspected scrap metal thieves beaten to death in KZN

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Reaction offices at the scene where two suspected scrap metal thieves were killed.PHOTO: Reaction Unit South Africa
Reaction offices at the scene where two suspected scrap metal thieves were killed.PHOTO: Reaction Unit South Africa

Two men suspected of stealing a bus engine were beaten to death, allegedly by two security guards, on Thursday afternoon in Canelands in Kwazulu-Natal.

Reaction Unit South Africa’s (Rusa) spokesperson, Prem Balram said the two men were apprehended by private security guards before they were killed.

Balram said they received a call for medical assistance on Friday morning. When paramedics arrived, Balram said they found two men lying on the ground in a block manufacturing yard.

“Both had suffered extensive head, facial and body injuries and were declared deceased,” he said.

He said when reaction officers interviewed the private security officer on the premises, he explained that he was the night guard.

“When he reported for duty last night, two day shift guards had informed him that they had apprehended three scrap collectors after they stole a bus engine that was stored on the premises.

“The engine was carried by the three suspects to a local scrapyard. A witness informed the day guards that the suspects were seen dragging the engine and walking towards a scrap yard known to purchase metal.

“The night guard said his colleagues recovered the engine and walked the three suspects back to the block yard they were employed privately to guard. They then began assaulting the suspects. One suspect managed to break free and fled. The remaining two were severely beaten. The beatings continued for several hours and when the day guards left the premises the night guard called for a state ambulance,” said Balram.

He said by daybreak the government ambulance did not respond and when the management of the block yard was made aware of the situation, they then contacted [Rusa] for assistance.

Balram said both the security guards have fled the area. They are believed to be residing in Bergville in Northern Drakensberg. He said police are investigating two murder cases.

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