House Robber Rescued by Police Before Being Burnt Alive by Community

What You Need to Know:

On Friday, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) Officers rescued a 32 year old man from community members who were attempting to burn him alive. 

The community of Putfontein, near Benoni in Gauteng Province, alleged they had captured the man who had broken into a house on Geldenhys Road. Upon the police’s arrival, they found the man with two tyres placed around his body and items the man had allegedly taken from the residence. 

The stolen items were returned to the owner of the property in question, while the man was taken into custody. Additionally, police urged Ekurhuleni residents to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.

The Details:

As previously reported, mob justice is common in many South African communities, as residents either do not trust the police or feel as though they are overlooked, as many crimes are committed in informal settlements. 

Ekurhuleni Municipality has been the scene of various mob justice attacks in recent years, with four city electricians beaten to death by community members in March 2023 after they were mistaken for cable thieves. Furthermore, in September 2023, two suspected thieves were beaten by Tedstoneville community members, with one succumbing to his injuries. 

The placing of tyres around the body of a suspected thief or criminal has its roots in Apartheid South Africa. Known as ‘necklacing’ locally, the act refers to the placing of a tire around the neck of the accused, before dousing the tire in petrol and setting it alight. 

Necklacing was first advocated for by Winnie Mandela, wife of Nelson Mandela, during the years of conflict between the African National Congress and the South African National Party to be used against those in the community who collaborated with whites. 

So, What Now?:

Although mob justice attacks are not new to South Africa, they are a stark marker of it’s failing justice system. As a result, private security has boomed under the ANC government, with over 9,000 security companies and 2.7 million private security guards registered in the country as of January.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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