Innocent man's killing grim lesson

Lloyd Nkgothoe was killed in a mob justice incident. /Supplied
Lloyd Nkgothoe was killed in a mob justice incident. /Supplied
Image: Supplied

The North West mob justice incident (reported in yesterday's edition), which resulted in the death of an innocent young man, should serve as a lesson to people not to take the law into their own hands.

Lloyd Nkgothoe was forced to hang himself by residents who believed he had hacked an elderly woman to death. They claimed to have reached this conclusion after following bloody footprints from the crime scene to his home.

The bloodthirsty locals who hauled the 25-year-old man out of his home were apparently aggrieved by police not doing enough to protect them.

To make matters worse, the attack is said to have taken place in the presence of a station commander and his officers who failed to save Nkgothoe's life.

Two months after the incident police say they are still probing this allegation.

Their spokesman, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, even had the audacity to defend the alleged lack of action by his colleagues by saying "even if the cops were there, there was always going to be a need for assessment of the situational appropriateness".

Brigadier, cops are trained to handle such situations so your justification does not hold water.

Nkgothoe's family bade him goodbye in a tense environment, under police guard, after the same community members who killed him had warned them against burying him in their village.

After that they lived in shame and guilt as they also believed he could have committed the crime because he had had run-ins with the law before, only to be told after two long months of humiliation and distress that cops had arrested another man they believe was behind the murder of the old woman.

Now, a young man who had a chance to turn his life around and be useful to society is dead.

It is too late to say sorry to him or reverse the harm done.

Residents have no business deciding who are the suspects in criminal cases because they are not trained to collect and corroborate evidence. They must leave the police to do their job.

If found guilty, the seven villagers who were arrested for Nkgothoe's murder must receive harsh sentences to further send a message to citizens that these senseless killings should end now.

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