The victim of an alleged mob justice attack in Delft, Cape Town, did not succumb to his injuries, Western Cape police said on Thursday.
“This office has no record of a fatality in this regard, and also no record that the victim reported a case,” Lt-Col Andre Traut said.
“We are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the matter, and this process is yet to be finalised.”
Earlier this week, the New Age newspaper published still images of CCTV footage showing the man, who was accused of theft, being sjambokked by a woman. In another image, police officers, one of them eating a banana, stand by and watch.
The victim was reportedly stoned, beaten, and hit on head. The woman allegedly used pliers to rip off two of his fingernails.
A community leader told The New Age the man was holding on to a police van begging the officers for help, but they ignored him.
The paper reported the man died an hour after the attack.
The City of Cape Town had since suspended three of its law enforcement officers pending an investigation into the incident.
Provincial community safety MEC Dan Plato commended the officers’ suspension and urged people not to take the law into their own hands.
He said the officer’s inaction “was a cause for grave concern”.
“Law enforcers be it the [SAPS], metro police or provincial traffic –stand at service to the entire community and in incidents of violence cannot be a mere idle bystander.” SAPA