Villagers kill gran 'rapist'

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

An angry community in Limpopo stoned and stabbed to death a 28-year-old man allegedly accused of raping a 72-year-old granny.

Rikhotso Mashele of Gavaza village, near Tzaneen, was killed by a group of angry villagers on Sunday night.

On the day that Mashele was killed, enraged villagers gathered in an open ground in the village and launched a manhunt for him. Some villagers allegedly saw Mashele walking in the street and gave chase. Mashele allegedly tripped and fell while trying to run away from the angry villagers. They caught up with him and started assaulting him.

Young and old villagers allegedly took turns assaulting Mashele until he died.

The alleged rape on the granny apparently happened on January 7.

The granny, according to police, was busy ploughing in a field a few kilometres from her house when Mashele attacked and raped her.

Mashele was apparently on the police's wanted list at the time of his death.

A relative of Mashele who wished to remain anonymous said: "My brother was an alleged rapist but he was certainly not a murderer.

"They could have at least arrested him and handed him over to the police. They should not have killed him like that."

The relative said the family knew some of the people who took part in the assault and murder of Mashele.

"We will work closely with the police to bring the perpetrators to book," the relative said.

Senior Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said police received a tip- off from members of the community about Mashele's assault and murder.

"When we reached the scene where Mashele was assaulted, we found him dead.

"We have not arrested anyone in connection with the murder yet, but we hope to make some arrests soon," he said.

Ramatseba added that it was illegal for the community to take the law into its own hands.