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Provincial Commissioner orders manhunt for alleged thugs who stabbed a community member, strongly condemns vigilantism

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Limpopo


POLOKWANE - The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has ordered Police to urgently launch a manhunt for community members who apprehended an alleged thug and, instead of calling Police, brutally attacked and killed him. According to the information, a male person suspected of being involved in a robbery and attempted murder at Praktiseer in Sekhukhune District on Friday, 22 September 2023 was apparently attacked by the mob, who came to the rescue of a community member who was under attack by a group of three, the deceased included.

It is alleged that two men were on their way to work at about 05:00 in the morning when they were approached by three male suspects who started grabbing the victim while his colleague managed to flee from the attackers.

Apparently, the victim was hit on the head with an unknown sharp object, and then he shouted for help. Subsequently, members of the community immediately mobilized and managed to apprehend one male suspect, who was later identified as Kabelo Phoku. The alleged robber was brutally assaulted at the scene while his unknown accomplice fled the scene. It later came to light that the deceased was long wanted in several cases that included arson, murder, assault with the intention to inflict grievous bodily harm, and robbery with a firearm.

The Police in Tubatse are investigating cases of attempted murder and murder while launching a manhunt for the suspects responsible for the mob-related attack that resulted in the murder of Kabelo, while on the same breath looking for the deceased's partners who fled the scene as they are facing attempted murder.

"The community should learn to understand that mob justice is a crime, and you will face the full might of the law. Citizen arrest is welcomed. I have ordered the Police to search for the thugs who allegedly attacked an innocent community member who was on his way to work. In the same vein track down those who, instead of calling the Police after apprehension of the criminal, take the law into their own hands", concluded, General Hadebe.

Anyone with information that can assist the police in arresting the suspects responsible for the mob justice as well as the accomplices to the alleged robbery and attempted murder should contact the nearest police station or Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or use the MySAPS App.

Police investigations are underway.


Colonel Malesela Ledwaba
082 451 7180