Father held after vigilantes kill man wrongly accused of daughter's rape

A father has been arrested following the death of a man in a vigilante justice attack.
Arrested/handcuffs A father has been arrested following the death of a man in a vigilante justice attack.
Image: 123rf/Lucian Coman

The father of a seven-year-old girl who claimed she was raped by a neighbour has been charged with murder after telling police he took part in a vigilante attack that left an innocent man dead.

Mava Fundakubi‚ 52‚ was severely assaulted by a mob at the weekend in Motherwell‚ Port Elizabeth‚ after the community suspected that he had raped the child.

While she and her mother were at the Motherwell Health Centre‚ the man was dragged into the street and beaten to death by a large group of people.

Police spokesperson Capt Andre Beetge said later that an examination had revealed that the child had not been raped‚ molested or sexually assaulted. A manhunt was launched to identify people who took part in the assault.

"The 36-year-old father of the seven-year-old girl handed himself over to police yesterday [Tuesday] claiming that he approached Mr Fundakubi at his house and that he assaulted Mr Fundakubi in the street while being joined by other persons‚" Beetge said on Wednesday.

"He was arrested and charged for the murder while police are continuing to identify and search for the accomplices."

Motherwell police cluster commander‚ Maj-Gen Dawie Rabie‚ said vigilantism would not be tolerated. "An innocent man was killed by the community - based on a rumour which they did not even try to verify.

"We are urging our communities to give information about suspected crimes to the police and not to take the law into their own hands. I am urging our community to identify these killers in order for the law to be enforced so these murderers to be brought before court."

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