Police Spokesperson Brigadier Motlalefa Mojapelo says police initially arrested 23 locals for vigilantism and mob justice on Sunday.
While Mojapelo yesterday told Local Voices that 21 suspects were due in court, he says only 20 appeared.
“Three were released after failure to link them to the crime,” he says.
The suspects, who appeared in the Giyani Magistrate Court, have been remanded in custody.
They face charges of murder, public violence, arson and malicious damage to property.
The accused allegedly assaulted and burnt a businessman blamed for the disappearance of 25-year-old Mahlori Maluleka.
The community had apparently consulted with a local sangoma, who blamed the deceased and two of his employees for the teenager’s disappearance.
According to Giyani News, the police took the traditional healer in for questioning yesterday and was later released.
Police have condemned the community’s actions.