Women teach petty thief a lesson

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

A man was severely beaten by a group of women street vendors after he attempted to rob an elderly woman in the centre of Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday.

The man had pretended to be asking for directions from Dudu Buthelezi, who was walking with her two grandchildren opposite a local taxi rank.

He suddenly grabbed Buthelezi's handbag and when she fought back, he slapped her in the face before grabbing the bag and fleeing.

But his luck ran out when one of the street vendors, who had seen what happened quickly hit the fleeing thief with an iron pipe.

A group of other women suddenly pounced on the thief.

Buthelezi said she noticed the man walking past them and suddenly stop and ask for directions.

"I never thought he could be a criminal. I was just trying to help him, but then he slapped me and took my handbag and ran. I was so urprised. He was very strong," she said.

Police spokesman Captain Shooz Magudulela confirmed the incident, but said the women should not have taken the law into their own hands.

He said a case of attempted robbery had been opened and the suspect would appear in court soon.