No arrests yet after two men are stoned to death 'over drugs'
Two men suspected of dealing in drugs were stoned to death in two separate incidents on Wednesday last week in what is suspected to be mob justice.
The deceased, Morris Hlako from Thabaleshoba village and Sydney Morakalala, 51, from Mokopane were killed less than 40km apart in the Gilead policing area in the Mogalakwena local municipality.
According to an Uitzigcht resident, a village where Hlako was killed, Hlako was with two men when he was caught allegedly buying nyaope.
"The other two men in Hlako's company managed to escape the mob. Those boys were seen with a well-known drug dealer and some community members felt it was time to put a stop on the sale of nyaope.
"The one who was killed stays in the nearby village and came here to buy drugs with his friends, hence community members assaulted them," he said.
The resident said Hlako was assaulted with sticks and stones. However, at least three residents told Sowetan that nyaope is not rife in the village and this was the first incident.
"I was shocked to hear that someone was killed for buying nyaope. I thought they would have called the police," said a man in his 30s. Another community member told Sowetan that some of the people in the mob were drunk and refused to call the police.
"Some of the people tried to stop the attack but the group went ahead [and assaulted him]. I didn't see the drugs on him," he said.
Police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe said police were notified and immediately responded, and the victim was rescued with serious injuries. "He (Hlako) was taken to the local hospital for medical treatment but later succumbed to his injuries," he said.
When Sowetan visited the familyon Monday, we found them gathered under a brown tent as they prepared for his burial.
Ngoepe said Morakalala was caught and assaulted at Rebone RDP section in Steiloop and his VW Polo was torched during the attack. He said no arrests have been made in both cases.
Limpopo provincial police commissioner Lieut Gen Nneke Ledwaba has condemned with strongest terms the acts of mob attacks and killings, which are still prevalent in some parts of the province.
"The police call upon members of the community to refrain from taking the law into their own hands but they should rather notify the police about illegal activities. Those who are still continuing to perpetrate this type of incidents will be dealt with harshly and without compromise," said Ledwaba.