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Cele admits police responded late to Diepsloot murder incident

Police minister Bheki Cele
Police minister Bheki Cele
Image: Supplied

Police minister Bheki Cele has admitted that police were late in responding to an incident which saw a 43-year-old Zimbabwean man getting killed by a mob in Diepsloot on Wednesday night.

Cele, accompanied by police commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola and other senior police officials, arrived in Diepsloot on Thursday afternoon to visit the family of Mbodazwe Elvis Nyathi and the site of his murder.  Diepsloot has been engulfed by protests as locals  demand that undocumented immigrants leave the crime-infested township.

Cele was asked by the media why Nyathi died when he (Cele) had deployed police to patrol the area on Wednesday night.

"Indeed police were here last night, they came late on this. We have to check what happened, why they delayed but to say we did not respond... that is not correct," Cele said.

Nyathi was killed on Wednesday night by a mob who were going around the neighbourhood demanding to see identity documents.

According to his wife, Nomusa, Nyathi did not have a passport and was taken by the mob who later killed him. On Thursday morning, the deceased's family was seen on the site where he  was killed.

While Godknows Nyathi poured water on the blood stains of his slain brother, another family member used a mop to wipe the blood on the road surface.

Not far from the spot, a group of residents stood quietly in the little road that is sandwiched by shacks and little spaza shops.

Godknows told Sowetan that his brother was with his wife  who told the family that she heard a group of people knocking at one of the neighbours' door demanding to see identity documents.

“After hearing that, my brother took his wife and went out to hide. But they spotted him and he dashed out and ran. As he went outside, he found the group chasing someone. He then ran out  in panic. They caught him and started beating him up. They accused him of being a thug,” Godknows said.

He said the mob then took his brother back to his shack where they demanded to see his firearm. They then searched the shack and could not find any gun. They then assaulted Nomusa before taking her husband away.

The door of the shack still had blood stains when Sowetan visited the family on Thursday morning.


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