Police in Masisi Village, outside Musina, in Limpopo are the latest victims of mob justice in the province.
On Wednesday, they came under attack from angry community members who stoned the local police station, demanding the release of 19 people arrested for alleged public violence and murder.
The suspects were arrested after four people were stoned to death and their homes set on fire in the area on Monday evening.
The deceased were accused of involvement in the disappearance of a 24-year-old man, who residents believe is a victim of a ritual murder.
One person has been arrested for Wednesday’s attack on the Masisi police station – breaking some windows.
The Limpopo police commissioner, Lieutenant Gneral Nneke Ledwaba has slammed the incident.
The provincial transport and community safety department has also expressed disappointment in the community members’ actions.
It says it has conducted various campaigns in a bid to discourage them from taking the law into their own hands.
On Sunday, a 43-year-old man was also set alight outside Tzaneen.
In 2019, Ledwaba expressed concern over residents taking the law into their own hands.
He said mob justice doubled murder incidents in the province.
The Spar that is at the centre of the burning of a customer in Musina, Limpopo, has resumed operating.
The store went back to business on Monday following talks with local leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Local red berets’ leader Alpheus Mamafa was instrumental into Svodai Mugumbo’s rescue.
The store manager allegedly doused Mugumbo with methylated spirit and his security guard colleague then set her on fire for allegedly stealing from the shop.
Mamafa has told Local Voices that they found the woman with the security guard who was putting bandage on her wounds while trying to convince her not to go to hospital.
Three men, including the security guard and the manager, have been arrested for the crime.
Radali Norman, Tshikwatamba Vhutshilo and John Vanloggerenber appeared in the Musina Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Limpopo Police Spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe says they were charged with grievious bodily harm (GBH) and were each granted R1 000 bail.
They are due back in court next week Thursday.
Mamafa is urging retailers not to take the law into their own hands when dealing with people who they suspect of theft.
“We as the EFF are all over – we are watching this thing. Shops must not take the law into their hands. They must report such incidents to the police; otherwise as EFF will tackle them if they violate people’s human rights,” he says.
Mamafa says COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult for community members to go visit Mugumbo in hospital.
However, they plan assisting her with some essential necessities once she is discharged from hospital.
A manager at a Spar in Musina, Limpopo, will be appearing in the local magistrate’s court for the assault of a woman accused of theft.
The suspect allegedly doused Svodai Mugumbo with methylated spirit and his colleague, who works as a security guard, then set her on fire.
“Her entire body was burnt even the private parts,” the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the area, Alpheus Mamafa, told Local Voices.
He says the store officials tried to hide the incident.
“When I heard about this matter, I rushed to the store and I was told that the security guard took her away. I managed to find them and he was putting bandages on her – convincing her not to go to hospital,” Mafama says.
“We are not condoning stealing but proper procedures must be followed. They shouldn’t have taken the law into their own hands,” he adds.
The EFF leader says immediately ordered that the store and called the police.
The manager is behind bars and Mamafa says they also want the security guard arrested.
The store remains closed, pending talks with management.
The negotiations are scheduled for Thursday.
The victim is recuperating in hospital.