Port Elizabeth man, 26, 'necklaced' in third mob-justice attack in area

01 August 2019 - 15:08
A young man who had been necklaced was found dead on Thursday.
Image: 123rf/ Igor Stevanovic A young man who had been necklaced was found dead on Thursday.

Three people have been killed in separate mob justice-related incidents in the Kwazakhele area of Nelson Mandela Bay since Monday.

All the killings happened within a 1km radius and involve the men being stoned and torched, reports HeraldLIVE.

In the latest incident, Sipho Ngcoza, 26, was stoned and torched about 1am on Thursday.

Police spokesperson Capt Andre Beetge said police received a call about a mob justice incident taking place in Nkata Street, Kwazakhele.

“When police arrived on the scene they found the deceased lying in the street.

"About 70 people were standing around but everyone claimed to not know what had happened,” he said.

“There were several rocks lying close to the body and he had two tyres around his body.”

Beetge said that no one could provide details on why he was attacked.

“Residents claim to not know what happened.”

Ngcoza's murder comes after Mandla Charles Hashe, 29, was killed by a group at the corners of Mbilini and Sidindi streets about 10am on Tuesday.

Sinethemba Gwatya, 23, was stoned and torched in Stofile Street, Kwazakhele, around midday on Monday.

Asked if the incidents were linked, Beetge said: “At this stage it is being investigated. It appears that there is some link as the proximity in which the attacks occurred is within a kilometre. In some of the cases there are allegations that they were criminals operating in the area.”

“There is no evidence at this stage to substantiate these claims.”

Beetge highlighted the murder of Mava Fundakubi, 52, in January, who was wrongly accused of raping a seven-year-old girl before being viciously beaten to death. A medical examination and tests revealed that the child had not been raped and interviews with her had also provided no evidence of any molestation.

“The January killing of an innocent man is testament that residents need to let the police do their job. We cannot allow the law to be taken into the hands of residents,” Beetge said.

In a separate statement, Eastern Cape provincial police commissioner, Lt-Gen Liziwe Ntshinga, vowed that police would work around the clock to trace Ngcoza's killers.

“We condemn the killing in the strongest possible way. I call on communities in the affected areas to urgently come together with the police and community police forum (CPF) to discuss ways and means to assist each other to end this scourge,” said Ntshinga.

A team of seasoned detectives has been assembled to look at all related dockets, said Ntshinga, to "ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and face the law".

"We cannot allow a state of lawlessness where people kill others in revenge attacks. If people are suspected of being involved in crime and criminal activities, they must be handed over to the police”, added Ntshinga.