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Family of deceased says mob justice must end

Bongani Mothupi, the nephew of Peter Cisane and Evelyn Cisane, died in mob justice for stealing. /Tiro Ramatlhatse
Bongani Mothupi, the nephew of Peter Cisane and Evelyn Cisane, died in mob justice for stealing. /Tiro Ramatlhatse

The family of a man who was kidnapped and beaten to death for stealing a cellphone, baby nappies and a chocolate wants mob justice to end before more lives are lost.

Bongane Mothupi, 28, of Bodibe village near Lichtenburg in North West, was tied with ropes and put inside the boot of a car before he was killed last week.

The group that kidnapped him accused him of stealing from them.

He was assaulted and dumped near his home before he died.

Another suspected thief in the area also died, allegedly also at the hands of the mob, before Mothupi's death.

The incidents of mob justice have raised alarm in the community.

Mothupi's uncle Peter Cisane said his nephew was a troublesome person but did not deserve to die in such a cruel manner.

Cisane, who was left as a guardian to Mothupi and his younger brother after their parents died, said the pain was too much to bear.

"It's like we are part of the statistics now. It's a case of who is next instead of how can we stop this," he said.

Cisane said residents in his village had a perception that the police were not doing their job and that's why they resorted to taking the law into their own hands.

"They [police] do arrest people, but the courts release them, mostly because of lack of evidence," he said.

He did not dispute that his nephew might have stolen the goods but said he deserved a jail term not death.

Cisane said the family of the man who instigated Mothupi's death had apologised but he was carrying a heavy burden.

"I do not have money to run this funeral," he said.

North West police spokeswoman Captain Amanda Funani said suspects were arrested and would be charged with murder and kidnapping in court today.

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