ID parade for six men arrested for Zandspruit vigilante killings
Six people who were believed to have been part of a mob that tortured nine men, accusing them of being behind a spate of crimes in the Zandspruit area, appeared in the Roodepoort magistrate’s court on Monday.
Eight of the nine men have since died.
The National Prosecuting Authority said the court ordered that the accused’s identity may not yet be made public.
“The six — who cannot be named at this stage as the state intends holding an identity parade — appeared on charges of murder, kidnapping and attempted murder,” said NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.
The case was postponed to June 9, when the group are expected to lodge a formal bail application.
Meanwhile, only one of the nine men who the group is accused of attacking is still alive and remains in hospital. Five died on the scene while three others died in hospital after they were beaten and necklaced on Wednesday, May 19.
Mjonondwane said it appeared a group of community members embarked on a vigilante operation, hunting down those they blamed for terrorising the community.
“Nine [people] were taken forcefully from their homes, assaulted and ultimately burnt at the nearby soccer field,” she said.
Police minister Bheki Cele visited the area on Saturday, where community leaders informed him that those who took matters into their own hands did so because they had lost their faith in police tackling crime in the area.
Cele was also told that when police were called to the scene last Wednesday, they were delayed in arriving.
While Cele said these claims would be investigated, Gauteng police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele said police did go to the scene, but their van was allegedly stoned and they were chased away by a group of about 200 people.