THREE members of the KwaKhoza community in Eshowe on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast are expected to appear in the Eshowe magistrate's court today on a murder charge.
This follows their arrest in the KwaKhoza area on Friday after an angry mob ran amok, stoning and hacking to death local businessman Mzameleni Mhlongo.
Mhlongo was a well-known businessman in the area and ran three supermarkets. He was accused of trying to kill a woman for muti.
Police spokesperson Inspector Mbongeni Mdlalose said police were told Mhlongo was killed because he had tried to kill one of 10 women who were collecting wood in the bushes.
"Community members alleged the businessman had tried to snatch the woman while she was in the bush, but she managed to run to the main road and alert the community," Mdlalose said.
"He was stoned and hacked to death. The people believed Mhlongo wanted to kill one of the women so that he could use her body parts for muti to boost his business."
Mdlalose warned the community to refrain from taking the law into their own hands, saying by doing so they were committing a crime.
"People must report any criminal matters to the police for investigation," he said.
"In this case, not a single person was reported missing or was found with body parts missing in the area, so we don't know how the community ended up taking a decision to kill a person on unfounded allegations."
In another incident, a 19-year-old man was assaulted before being handed over to the police in Melmoth.
Mdlalose said the man was accused of raping a three-year-old girl.
"It is alleged that the man had raped the girl and tried to strangle her, but neighbours grabbed him," Mdlalose said. "He was assaulted."
He was arrested and is expected to appear in the Melmoth magistrate's court to face a rape and attempted murder charge.