Video axe attack was mob justice, three arrested
Three men accused of killing a man in a mob justice attack seen on a video that went viral last week appeared in an Mpumalanga court on Friday, police said.
Warning: Video includes graphic content
Joel Lubisi, 51, Duncan Mbokodo-Sambo, 33, and Calvin Sibiya-Suthu, 27, were released on a warning, said Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale.
Tonga Magistrate's Court postponed the matter to May 19 for further investigation.
The men were arrested on Thursday night.
It was initially reported that the video of the attack was made on election day in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, but police later found it was made in Tonga, Mpumlanga, in February.
The two-minute video shows a man in an orange T-shirt on the ground being kicked and pummelled with the back of an axe. Some of the people in the crowd wear African National Congress T-shirts.
Makgale said the attack took place on February 17.
A house robbery was reported that day at Block B in Tonga, where a husband and wife were shot dead by four attackers.
"The attackers then took the daughter of the couple to the couple's business premises with the intention of collecting money. They allegedly raped her and then released her."
He said the crime was reported to the police.
"While the police were busy conducting their investigations, the community organised themselves and conducted a manhunt," Makgale said.
"The community apprehended one murder and rape suspect and beat him to death."
Makgale said the man was in possession of an unconfirmed amount of R2 coins and a cellphone. The coins were thought to have been taken out of a snooker table.
"It is alleged that the second suspect was also caught later by the community and killed."
Two men were arrested the same day in connection with the murder of the husband and wife, and the rape of their daughter.
Fana Samuel Mashabane, 30, and Mcolisi Mandla Shongwe, 24, also appeared in the Tonga Magistrate's Court on Monday on murder and rape charges.
The matter was postponed for the case to be elevated to regional court level, Makgale said. The men remained in police custody.