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20-Year-old male killed in vigilante murder, Motherwell
2019/03/15

Media Statement issued by the Eastern Cape Media Centre
Corporate Communication and Liaison
South African Police Service

Motherwell: The burnt body of 20-year-old Luzuko Simanga was discovered this morning just after 07:00 in bushes behind the Vukani shack area, NU9, Motherwell. A family member alleged that Luzuko was woken up at 03:00 by a person suspected to have been known by Luzuko. He then left his home in Ngwevana Street (about 300 metres away from where he was found) with this person.

His burnt body was found four hours later and the SAPS were alerted. SAPS suspects that he was killed and his body set alight with burning tyres, after his attackers allegedly accused him of theft of power cables.

The Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie strongly condemned this killing and said "Persons taking part in vigilante killings (mob justice) immediately becomes killers themselves. Our community must refrain from taking the law into their own hands to commit assaults and murders on other persons or suspected criminals."

In an unrelated incident yesterday, police prevented the vigilante murders of two males who were suspected of the rape of a 10-year-old girl in Ikamvelihle.

This followed after the girl was walking home from school at 15:30. It is alleged that the two suspects forced the girl into their shack in Nomakanjane Village, Ikamvelihle where she was then raped by them. At about 18:00 the two suspects let the girl go free and fled from their shack. By 19:00 a group of about 200 angry residents mobilised and started searching for the two suspects. They set the suspects shack alight and it was completely destroyed. SAPS were alerted of the rape and the resulting search by community of the two suspects, and also joined in the search. A race against time in finding the two males before the community does, ended when the first 21-year-old suspect was found by police. He was found hiding and unharmed in Koliti Street at about 23:45. By 00:30 police also found the badly assaulted second 27-year-old suspect in the Motherwell cemetery. The community members severely assaulted him and they were moments away of murdering him and setting him alight, but they fled the scene when they saw the approaching lights of the police.

The rape case is being investigated by the Motherwell Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit. The 21-year-old suspect was arrested and detained for the rape, while the second suspect is being treated for the serious wounds he sustained in the attack. Name of hospital withheld for security reasons. He will be formally arrested once he is in a condition to be detained and taken to court.

In another unrelated vigilante murder case, five (5) suspects (aged between 29 and 52) were arrested between 7 and 12 March for the murder of 20-year-old Andile Nabe who was killed and set alight by community on 29 November 2018 in Westville, Kwadwesi. He was suspected of theft by the attackers. During the follow up investigation the 5 suspects were identified and arrested for his murder (vigilante killing) and is appearing in the New Brighton Magistrate’s Court today on the murder charges.

General Rabie further stated that the community needs to take SAPS serious that it will not be tolerated that such vigilante murders takes place and that SAPS will arrest and institute murder prosecution against such persons. Vigilante persons needs to respect the Laws of our country.  "The shack of the two rape suspects where the alleged rape took place, was an official crime scene. When vigilante persons destroyed it by burning it down, vital evidence that could link the suspects with the rape were destroyed in the process. SAPS will investigate and pursue this matter with urgency and perpetrators are promised to face serious criminal charges for interfering with police crime scenes."

-End-

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