Would-be thief beaten to pulp

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A young man who allegedly tried to steal from a house is in critical condition in hospital after being badly beaten up by community members yesterday morning.

The suspect, whose age is unknown, allegedly entered into the back room of the Mkhatshwa family in KaNyamazane, Mpumalanga, at around 2am.

The family said it was not clear what his intentions were but suspected that he wanted to steal. Bheki, the owner of the room, said he was fast asleep when he suddenly heard funny noises at the window.

"When I tried to investigate what was happening, a man hit me with a sharp object on my ear before ordering me to open my door," said Bheki.

Bheki said his bed was closer to the window and it was easy for the man to reach him.

When his mother heard the screaming from his son's back room, she ran to see what was happening and found her son slugging it out with an unknown young man.

"I then screamed for help and before I knew it, neighbours were in the yard wanting to know what was wrong," she said.

The suspect, whose name is known to Sowetan but cannot be published until he appears in court, was identified by the Mkhatshwa neighbours as a local person.

"He doesn't live far from here, I know him. He once stole from my house," shouted one woman.

The suspect was beaten up for nearly an hour before police came to his rescue. He was taken to Rob Ferreira Hospital where he is in a critical condition.

Captain Philip Fakude, spokesman for KaNyamazane police, said cases of burglary and assault were being investigated.