Eight nabbed following mob justice attack

LETEBEJANE – Eight Suspects, four and women, were arrested in connection with the brutal killing two siblings at Letebejane village outside Marble Hall.

The suspects were apprehended in the early hours of Tuesday morning following a mob justice incident which occurred on Monday afternoon at about 17:00.

According to police preliminary investigations the brutal attacks followed an incident which occurred last year in June when a 23 year-old man, Peter “Mapito” Phahlamohlaka allegedly disappeared while fishing at the Olifants River (Lepelle) with two brothers, Lucas and William Seloma aged 46 and 47 respectively together with a group of other men.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said police were notified about the incident and a search operation by the search and rescue team ensued without success.

“A missing person file was then opened and police continued with their investigations. Two weeks ago on 13 January 2020, when police were busy investigating, the local community mobilised and attacked the two brothers at their homes. This after they were accused of being involved in the disappearance of missing man,” said Mojapelo.

Mojapelo added that the Public Order Police (POP) was activated and the situation was stabilised and that a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) was opened and no one was arrested.

“Police continued with tracing of the suspects. On Thursday 23 January 2020, police gathered again and went on rampage barricading streets with removing learners from schools, demanding the two brothers inform them on the whereabouts of Phalhamohlaka,” said Mojapelo.

He added that the unrest continued until when community members allegedly dragged the brothers to the nearby mountain and stoned them to death.

“Police and medical emergency services were called following a tip off and responded quickly. A police helicopter was also called. On arrival at the scene, they made a gruesome discovery of two bodies covered in tree branches. They apparently wanted to torch them. The crowed had dispersed,” said Mojapelo.

Mojapelo said POP members had been deployed in the area to monitor the situation and suspects between ages of 19 and 44 were expected to appear before Motetema Magistrates Court on Thursday, 30 January 2020, facing charges of murder and public violence.

Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, Limpopo Provincial Police Commissioner, condemned in the strongest possible terms the brutal killing of the two brothers and warned that police would be relentless in pursuit of any remaining suspects.

“Police will continue to mercilessly with each and every person who resorts to taking the law into their own hands,” said Ledwaba.

Police are appealing to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects involved in the matter to contact Detective Warrant Officer Malose Mothoka on 060 996 0066 or the crime stop number 08600 10111 or the nearest police station.   

Thapelo Motseo

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