One person was killed in a mob attack overnight in Diepsloot north of Johannesburg, just hours after police minister Bheki Cele visited the area.
Kutlwano Moalosi, Diepsloot’s community policing forum secretary, said on Thursday morning the nationality of the person is not yet confirmed. Investigations are under way.
SABC TV identified him as Elvis Nyathi, quoting his distraught widow Nomsa Tshuma, who said people came banging on their door asking for their passports.
Speaking to eNCA, the widow said when they saw “many people” enter their yard, “we tried to run away and hide.”
“They said ‘why are we hiding, it means we have a gun’. That’s why they took him. I told them there was no gun and told them to search.”
On Wednesday, hundreds of community members took to the streets to protest against crime and negligent policing of immigration laws.
The community threatened to shut down the township after widespread crime in the past few months and a murder at the weekend when a man in his 20s was shot dead during a robbery. Responding to the community, Cele said more than 50 police members, including 30 tactical response team members, and 16 police vehicles would be deployed to ensure that crime-fighting in the area is strengthened.
“The report that we got this morning was that one person was killed last night. There was a mob attack,” Moalosi said.
“Community members were doing door-to-door [checks] because of the frustration that happened over the weekend. Then when they got to a yard, a guy jumped out of his shack and ran. The community got to him and burnt him,” he said.
He said there was now more police visibility in the area.
“Now the situation is under control, everything is going back to normal, people are going to work, children are going to school. However, we are deeply concerned about this incident [the murder] because it looks like community members — a few of them grouped themselves and went to do door-to-door. We are told police responded swiftly but the person was already dead when they arrived on the scene.”
Moalosi said 24 people believed to be without proper documentation were arrested by police overnight.
Police confirmed the death and said they would revert soon with information on the arrests.
This is a developing story