Three people tortured and necklaced in two separate incidents

Vusi Ndlovu and Sipho Masombuka

Vusi Ndlovu and Sipho Masombuka

The notorious necklace-murder method reared its ugly head at the weekend.

The method of lynching, previously reserved for suspected police informants, is by pouring petrol over the victim and setting them alight. It started during the 1980s.

But in two separate incidents on Saturday, "necklacing" was used again in the vigilante killings of crime suspects.

Sowetan yesterday learnt that residents of Mmakau, North West, ululated, sang and fired shots into the air after they had cornered and necklaced Kenny Munyai, 19, on Saturday morning.

And in Diepsloot, an informal settlement north of Johannesburg, two people, believed to be Mozambicans, were set alight by an angry mob later on the same day.

They were alleged to have robbed people in their homes before being caught in the shantytown's new extension 12 area.

Munyai, was captured by residents at 7am after he, his girlfriend and an unidentified youngster robbed a woman of her cellphone and cash on her way to work.

The woman screamed for help and people came out in full force to chase the fleeing suspects.

The three sought refuge in Munyai's aunt's shack. The enraged mob broke it down and severely assaulted the three before necklacing the 19-year-old.

Kenny's uncle, Thomas Munyai, who was at the scene when the incident happened, said the police handed over his nephew to the community.

"The police saved Kenny's friend and girlfriend and locked them in the van, but they deliberately handed over my nephew to the mob to be killed.

"A man in the crowd pulled out a hammer and smashed open Kenny's head and the crowd joined in the assault. They kicked, stoned and stabbed Kenny as he lay motionless on the ground.

"The police were standing there watching as the mob put a tyre around his neck, poured petrol all over his body and set him alight," said Munyai.

Kenny's mother, Martha, 33, knew her son was a dangerous criminal, but said she would have accepted any other punishment for him.

Mmakau residents said Kenny had held the area in a reign of terror.

"I am happy he is dead. He was a murderer, a rapist and a dangerous armed robber," said a young woman who did not want to be named.

The family claimed a local chief had banned Kenny from being buried in one of the local cemeteries.